Orthodox Union Removes Attorney Steven Friedman From Sunday Morning Panel

Rabbi Steven Weil, the Orthodox Union CEO, and Rabbi Alan Kalinsky (West Coast director of the Orthodox Union) have removed attorney Steven Friedman (I believe he charges his clients over $1,000 an hour but would’ve been doing this OU event for free, he’s also representing Rabbi Samuel Ohana pro bono) from their Sunday morning legal seminar.

Replacing Steven Friedman will be Rabbi Michael Broyde, who served as a witness for Rita Paukert in 2009 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Here’s a link to the program, including this offering Sunday: “For attorneys, Esther Macner and Steven Friedman will present, with David B. Gardener to moderate, two public sessions on Sunday morning at the Young Israel of Century City, 9317 W. Pico Boulevard, from 9-11 a.m. discussing, “Everything You Need to Know About Halachic Pre-Nups but Were Afraid to Ask,” and “The Imprimatur of the State on Halachic Agreements and Beit Dins: Current Problems and Trends of Enforceability.””

I did an interview Thursday night with the widow Rita Pauker, who’s mad she can’t get her late husband’s Torah scrolls back from Rabbi Samuel Ohana.

Attorneys Steven Friedman and Scott Sobel represent Rabbi Ohanna. Background on the case.

I was waiting to run this Rita Pauker interview until after I had interviewed Rabbi Samuel Ohana, but with this OU development, I am running the interview now.

Rita: “I am so angry. I have spent the last eight years trying to get my Torahs back from Samuel Ohana. I can’t call him rabbi. We went to a Beit Din (RCC). I won the case. We went to [Los Angeles Superior] Court to have him turn them over to me because he wouldn’t. He said that one of the rabbis on the Beit Din said to some reporter, well, a person can own a Torah and lend it to a synagogue. That’s acceptable.

“Now that I’ve heard that, I feel that this is not a decent verdict. So the American judge threw it out. Now, a $1,000 later, we went back to the first Beit Din (RCC). It’s an unwritten law that if you are a rabbi and you are called to a Beit Din, you go.

“The first one we called years ago, he said he wasn’t ready. He only had the Torahs for about five or six years. He wasn’t ready?

“I called Rabbi Shlomo Cunin. He said, you start all over and you have them recall him. He can’t say no.

“I have a lot of respect for Rabbi Cunin.

“We started all over. We had to pay about $600 each for a Beit Din. And Ohana said, I don’t have the money.

“I said to the Beit Din, I will pay his $600.

“That was the first hearing. The Los Angeles Superior Court said no.

“Ohana no longer wanted three rabbis at the tribunal. He went through the list and he picked who he wanted. We only went with one rabbi, Rabbi Sholom Tendler. Rabbi Tendler awarded me the Torahs as the agent for our synagogue.

“And now to enforce it, we had to go back to the same judge in the American court. The judge awarded me the Torahs and gave him ten days to turn them over.

“Before ten days are over, I get a paper in the mail from Ohana and his retinue saying they weren’t going to turn them over, they were going to enforce judgment again.

“The judge finally signed the order for the Torahs. They were due back on Dec. 19.

“Now I get another paper on Dec. 16. They’re asking the court for all kinds of information. Stalling, stalling, stalling. When one of my attorneys called them, they said, we’re not considering returning them. They’re going to court again.

“Either we will be going in and getting them with the sheriff’s office…

“All this time I’ve been saying the rabbi is…lying about Torahs. My husband was a well-rounded man. We had wonderful relationships with the Catholic church, especially with the Benedictine monks in Little Rock.

“I’m mad because I was notified that Steven Friedman, Ohana’s lawyer, has defied the [RCC] Beit Din to this minute, and he’s going to speak to the Orthodox Union this weekend on the subject of Beit Din. He’s working hand-in-glove with Ohana.

“Because of what happened, Ohana has been ousted from the RCC. They have not made that public. When I asked about it, I learned that they didn’t want to make it public until my case was over.

“When we said that we would like you to chase Steven Friedman off the OU guest list… I left a message for Rabbi Alan Kalinsky. And the answer we got was, well, he’s on the program already.

“This is a disgrace. It aggravates me. It burns me. It kills me. This is an insult to the Beit Din and to the Los Angeles Superior Court.”

“I win every case and I don’t get my Torahs back. I promised these Torahs to my nephews. Ohana won’t give them back to me because he has no Torahs.”

According to Rabbi Ohana on Saturday night, he is still a member of the RCC.

AN ORTHODOX RAV TELLS ME:

I know about the following case in detail, and it is clear to me that Rabbi Sauer talking to the reporter before the Din Torah is a violation of Torah Law so great as to render him invalid to ever sit as a Dayan. I also talked to a Dayan from the Beit Din HaGadol who agreed with this.

Many times I have had Dinei Torah where the claimant did not prove their case but it did seem that there was another party that they could in fact claim damages from, and this is stated in the Pasak Din. We cannot give an award to someone (or entity) that was not in the room. Granting the Sifrei Torah to Mishkan Israel, a defunct synagogue that exists only for tax reasons for Rita Pauker, and was not a party to the arbitration agreement is on its face invalid and by Halacha does not have to be obeyed.

There was an issue 300 years ago of a couple who wanted to make Aliya from Czechoslovakia and the people of the city took them to a din torah to stop them with the claim that it was dangerous and if they went other young people might want to follow. The Pitchei Tshuva records that if because the Beit Din clearly was improper in issuing a restraining order that it did not have to be obeyed. The most simple understanding of this case shows that the Beit Din erred. Even the simplest of people you would think can understand that a Beit Din may not make an award to someone that is not a party in the case.

The “Baruch Cohen” mentioned in some of the following emails is the attorney representing Rita Paukert. Baruch Cohen probably argues more cases before the RCC Beit Din than anyone. He also does a lot of bankruptcy work in secular court.

Here is his LinkedIn profile:

I am your first line of defense and offense in any litigation, bankruptcy or bais din matter. Why? Because I have over 15 years of experience trying cases in front of the Los Angeles Superior Courts, the U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and before Bais Dins across the country.

I am an aggressive trial attorney. I take pride in the integrity and passion I instill into each case and every client; whether it is skillfully settling cases, or taking the cases all the way to trial, my number one concern is my client’s best interests. On the other hand, my briefs reflect my “take no prisoners” approach to litigation, some of which I have posted in the filing cabinet below. One particular motion that I authored, was a motion to recuse a federal bankruptcy judge in the Billy Preston bankruptcy, which became the impetus for a Los Angeles Daily Journal cover story entitled: “Late Musician’s Lawyer Wants a Recusal; Bankruptcy Judge For Billy Preston’s Estate Under Fire For Possible Conflict” and a FOX News segment entitled: “Billy Preston: Will He Go Round in Circles?” (If you go into my file cabinet to take a pleading, I would appreciate you letting me know and dropping me a line as to how it went).

I take only those cases I truly believe in. I have demonstrated time and again, my willingness to take a case all the way to trial if that is what it takes to obtain the best possible result for my client. I have obtained outstanding results for clients who had been turned away by other firms — for some of whom I was able to obtain million dollar verdicts or settlements.

If you are in need of focused and aggressive representations in the areas of corporate chapter 7 bankruptcies, bankruptcy litigation, business litigation, serious and complex personal injury or wrongful death, please call me.

Excellence, state-of-the-art technology, creativity, integrity, and personal service are the hallmarks of my legal practice.
Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.’s Specialties:

Business Law • Corporate & Partnership Disputes • Fraud • Unfair Competition • Competitive Business Practices • Poaching & Raiding Lawsuits • Defamation • Libel • Slander • Breach of Contract • Collections • Anti-SLAPP Motions • Bankruptcy Litigation Law • Creditors’ Remedies •
Corporate Chapter 7 Bankruptcies • Alternative Dispute Resolution • Bais Din • Serious and complex personal injury or wrongful death

Here is Baruch Cohen’s blog in defense of Israel.

Baruch Cohen has had a complicated history with the RCC. In 1997, he led a fight against them on behalf of Rabbi Yehuda Bukspan.

Most of the following letters were sent on the Sabbath. Why would anyone think that sending an email on the Sabbath is a good way to sway a Torah organization?

Julia Dyachenko emails rabbiweil@ou.org; execthw@ou.org; rakalinsky@ou.org:

The Orthodox Union is hosting an event this weekend in Los Angeles. This conference is to include many panels and discussions. See the OU West Coast Convention. One such panel occurring on Sunday is entitled “Impramatur of the state on Halachic agreements and Batei Din; current problems and trends in enforceability.” The panel is set to discuss the trends related to Jewish law and the enforcement of Jewish contracts in California courts. Steven R. Friedman is set to be one of the speakers on this panel. The Orthodox Union has been approached by Baruch Cohen who has asked to remove Steven Friedman from the panel because Mr. Friedman represents a rabbi in the Los Angeles Jewish community. Mr. Friedman is one of two attorneys representing this rabbi in a civil dispute. Baruch Cohen is seeking to remove Mr. Friedman for simply doing his job and providing this rabbi with representation. The Orthodox Union is proposing to remove Mr. Friedman from the panel based solely on the protest of Baruch Cohen.
Many of you know Mr. Friedman and the great work he has done for the Jewish community and many other communities across Los Angeles, California, and the United States. Steven Friedman has represented many community leaders and those in need for free. He has spoken for those who are unable to speak for themselves and he has done this all without ever asking for thanks or recognition. In fact it is Mr. Friedman’s humility and unimpeachable sense of justice that attracts those seeking justice to him. Mr. Friedman’s track record is exemplary and his pursuit of justice admirable.

Jonathan Mann emails Rabbi Weil and co:

Dear Respectable Members of the Orthodox Union,

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.

Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.

Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.

The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.

If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.

Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

When Jonathan Mann writes to the “Respectable Members of the Orthodox Union”, who is he talking about? Who are the respectable members of the Orthodox Union? Names please.

Jacob Zodieru, a student at Southwestern Law School, emails Rabbi Weil and co:

Dear Members of the Orthodox Union at Los Angeles,

My name is Jacob Zodieru and I am a student at Southwestern Law School. It is to my understanding that there is an idea to remove Steven R. Friedman, Esq. from the panel regarding Jewish law and how it relates to contractual obligations in California. It is also to my understanding that the idea of dismissing Mr. Friedman from the panel is entirely based on his representation of Rabbi Ohana in his dispute against Rita Pauker about claim of ownership for four Torah scrolls in the Jewish community. I do not personally know Mr. Friedman, but I am a fellow student and good friend of his son at Southwestern Law School, and I heard about this issue through him.

I do not see why Mr. Friedman cannot speak at the panel. Is it not ethical under Jewish law to allow everyone fair and equal representation, no matter what the issue can be? I can imagine there may be a conflict if this was a dispute over an attorney’s representation of a Holocaust denier or serial killer, but over a claim of right ownership for Torah scrolls? As far as I am concerned, that is not enough to warrant dismissal from speaking on a panel. If there is a stronger reason, please let me know. Otherwise, I am compelled to share my opinion on the matter with you.

Personally, I desire what is best for everyone, and I believe everyone has the right to speak. Under Jewish law, a controversial issue should not be the sole grounds for violating a personal right to free speech. I implore you to let Mr. Friedman speak on the panel.

Aimee Weiss emails:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.

Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.

Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.

The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.

I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.

If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed. Please do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Channah Barkhordari emails:

Dear Rabbi Steven Weil, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Mr. Baruch Cohen, and to whom it may concern,

It has come to my attention recently that Mr. Baruch has approached the Orthodox Union requesting that Steven R. Friedman be removed from a panel discussion to take place on Sunday, December 26, 2010, namely for representing a certain rabbi in the Los Angeles community. With regards to Mr. Friedman, I would like to begin by assuring that each of you knows of whom you speak.

Mr. Friedman is an indisputable pillar of justice and service to the Jewish community of Los Angeles. Each of you owe him a debt of gratitude in one regard or another, whether cognizant of it or not. His attenuation to the needs of others and sincerity in seeking justice and pursuing it are unparalleled. It is with absolute conviction and certainty that I attest his reputation for moral veracity and fortitude is wholly untainted. And there are thousands of people who are ready and willing to attest to that fact as well.

And yet, incredulously, with seeming flippancy you seek to remove him from a panel in discussion of the enforcement of Jewish law and contracts in California courts. Ironically, you break Jewish law in the process three times over. The first: listening to the bearer of tales. Does it not say in Vayikrah, “A tale bearer should not go among you”? (19:16) I ask, who is the bearer of tales here? And by listening to such tales, are you not a mekabel motzi shem rah, one who has listened and accepted a tale without precedent?

Second: slander in the highest degree. Removing him from said panel would be equivalent to maligning his reputation as an honest and credible Jew, when he is indeed beyond reproach in this regard. In Yirmiyahu, the prophet admonishes slanderers to the utmost, descrying those “who go about with slanders and who speak iniquity” (Yirmiyahu 9:2-4). And yet you have chosen to listen to Mr. Cohen’s slander, and in turn multiply it tenfold by removing Mr. Friedman from this panel. You give credence to the unjust and defamatory opinions of Mr. Cohen and break a direct biblical commandment. And as God says in Yirmiyahu, “Shall I not punish them for these things?” (9:8)

Thirdly, you embody a negation of the command to pursue peace, and bring conflict to the families and community involved. As it says in Tehillim, “Flee from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it” (34:15). In deliberately choosing to remove Mr. Friedman, you are bringing conflict and personal politics into a public affair and splitting the members of your community.

In addition, you bring shame and lashon hara upon yourself. As the Orthodox Union, a respected establishment of religious Judaism, this action reduces your authority to the level of petty internal interests, and proves you as antithetical to the tenants of Judaism as a whole. It raises questions of the intentions of your establishment and demarcates you as an institution that responds to the pleas of the attempt by one Jew to attack another rather than the call of the Almighty.

I resolutely advise you to reflect upon the foundations of the Orthodox Union and reinstate Mr. Friedman to the board as a means of maintaining your integrity.

I hope you will succeed.

Channah Barkhordari

Founder-President, Ariyot

Joseph K. Berman emails:

To Whom it May Concern-

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.

Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Marcus Velelis emails:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.
Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Marcus Velelis
Internship Director
USD/Hagshama – World Zionist Organization

Bethany Carroll emails:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.
Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Skunkpunk1@aol.com emails:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of
Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday
December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has
proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations
of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure
and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I
want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of
terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand
strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper
influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right,
then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an
honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure
is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the
strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for
doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is
entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to
represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a
client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the
Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The
proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of
injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to
remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr.
Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for
free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no
charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He
has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to
say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand
on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a
neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all
those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by
those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this
injustice, then evil has already triumphed.
Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Jacklyn Mishal emails:

Dear Rabbi Weil, Rabbi Weinreb, Rabbi Kalinsky, and Mr. Cohen,

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.

Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.

Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.

The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.

If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.

Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Danna Rubin emails:

Dear Mr. Baruch Cohen

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.

Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.

Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.

The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.

I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.

If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.

Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Jake Gardner emails:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.
Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Shani (arbiv.shani@gmail.com) emails:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.
Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Mom (hizdesign@me.com) emails:

To: The Orthodox Union:

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.

Melissa Solin emails:

Shavua tov.

I am writing to you to express my outrage at the proposed removal of Steven R. Friedman from the Orthodox Union’s panel scheduled for Sunday December 26, 2010. It is my understanding that the Orthodox Union has proposed to remove Steven Friedman based on the unfounded accusations of a blog and a single attorney.
Every day I face pressure to bow to the terrorism of peer pressure and fearmongering. I choose to stand tall against the such threats. I want to condemn this decision by the Orthodox Union in the strongest of terms. I expect my community and my Jewish organizations to stand strong against the threats of intimidation and the pressure of improper influences. If the Orthodox Union will not stand up for what is right, then they do not represent my generation. Proposing to remove an honorable and selfless attorney as a result of unfounded peer pressure is not something I agree with and is something I condemn in the strongest of terms.
Mr. Friedman is being subjected to baseless mudslinging simply for doing his duty and representing a party in a lawsuit. Every person is entitled to representation, especially those who are not able to represent themselves. Persecuting an attorney because he represents a client is wrong and antithetical to the values of America and the Jewish People. God commands us to relentlessly pursue justice. The proposed removal of Mr. Friedman is the Orthodox Union’s endorsement of injustice and I will not stand for this injustice.
The Orthodox Union does not speak for me when they propose to remove a good hearted, champion of justice based on mudslinging. Mr. Friedman has selflessly represented members of the Jewish community for free for over twenty five years. He represents these people at no charge and at great expense to himself and his other commitments. He has fought for justice for others and now we must stand up for him.
I strongly encourage the Orthodox Union to stand up for justice, to say no to those who peddle fear and intimidation and to choose to stand on the side of right. Inaction or removal of Mr. Friedman is not a neutral decision. It is an admission that the Orthodox Union, and all those who it represents, can be bullied into accepting “the big lie” by those who yell it loudest and most often.
If the Jewish community does not stand strong against this injustice, then evil has already triumphed.
Do not remove Steven R. Friedman from this panel.

Gary Konecky, CPA, emails:

Dear Rabbis,

One of the biggest sins confronting this generation is the sin of Loshon
Hora.

I do not know either Mr. Baurch Cohen or Mr. Steven R. Friedman. I know that the internet has accusations that sound like Loshon Hora involving these men. I know these accusations reflect on the character of these men, and of Orthodox Union itself.

You must consider your course of action very seriously. If you choose
to act on the accusations (which might be Loshon Hora) without first
investigating the facts, you will be committing a grave violation of
Torah law, as well as possibly damaging the reputation and livelihood of
an innocent man.

As you decide if Mr. Steve R. Friedman is to serve on the panel, please
consider these thoughts and their implications.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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