Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Authors Posts by Kalman Wiseman

Kalman Wiseman



Today, Monday September 18, 2017, the Israeli court decided to give permission to Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, to travel to Uman for Rosh Hashana 5778.

The decision was almost entirely unexpected, and marks the first time that Rav Berland has been in Uman for Rosh Hashana for three years.

We will update you as we have more details.

In the meantime, we wish all our readers a Gmar Chatima Tova, and may this be the start of much more good news and happy occasions for all of Am Yisrael.

What caused the strange swerve in Hurricane Irma's path?


Hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable, but even with that introduction that strange, last minute ‘swerve’ that Hurricane Irma took to avoid Miami still ranks as one of the major unexplained phenomena of the year.

As the hurricane drew closer and closer to Florida’s east coast on Friday September 8th 2017, all the models were predicting a direct hit on the city of Miami – with devastating consequences.

While Rav Berland was in exile, he’d set up a branch of the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in Miami. Students at the Miami yeshiva called the Rav up motzae Shabbat, September 9th, 2017, to ask the Rav to pray for them.

The Rav immediately asked his followers in Jerusalem to recite a Tikkun HaKlali (General Remedy) specifically for Miami, and to especially have Miami in mind the verse in Chapter 32:6 which reads: “Just that the mighty, flooding waters shouldn’t reach to him.”

Next thing the forecasters knew, Hurricane Irma hung a sharp left, skipped past Miami and Florida’s East coast – and smashed straight into the state’s West coast instead, which hadn’t seen a hurricane of any real size since 1921.

Twenty five percent of the houses in the area were completely destroyed, as the area sustained some severe devastation from Hurricane Irma.

Meanwhile, back in Miami the winds were starting to pick up again, so again the worried students at the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in Miami, not all of whom were willing or able to evacuate, called back the Rav for more chizzuk (strengthening) and advice.

The Rav told them that the winds – which were becoming increasingly wild and dangerous – wouldn’t get stronger than 75 mph (120 km/h), and that the hurricane would pass over all the houses of Torah learning in Miami. This despite forecasts for Miami that put the wind speed at a much higher velocity, and also forecast a tornado hitting the area that would see winds of up to 300 km/h.

(You can hear the Rav saying these words yourself, in Hebrew, by playing the recording below):

AUD-20170910-WA0029 - Rav Berland promises that the winds won't top 120 km/h in Miami, and that all areas with synagogues will be bypassed by the storm.     

After the event, it become clear that the winds in Miami itself had never topped 72 mph – exactly as the Rav had promised. While Florida still sustained enormous damage, especially on its West coast, Miami and the East coast missed the ‘eye of the storm’, and came through the ordeal in relatively good shape.

After Hurricane Harvey – which wreaked havoc on Houston, America’s 4th largest city – but before Hurricane Irma struck, the Rav brought down the following section in Likutey Moharan where Rebbe Nachman explained the deeper reason behind the hurricanes – and amazingly, even pinpointed it to happen in Parshat Shoftim.

In Likutey Moharan I:11, in the original Hebrew it says:

וְזֶהוּ: ‘לְמָתָא יַרְקָא’ לַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לַעֲשֹוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה. ‘יַרְקָא’ הוּא בְּחִינַת תְּשׁוּבָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ בַּמִּדְרָשׁ (בְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה פָּרָשָׁה מג):
“וַיָּרֶק אֶת חֲנִיכָו” אוֹרִיקָן בְּפָרָשַׁת שׁוֹפְטִים, הַיְנוּ שֶׁזֵּרְזָם לַעֲשֹוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה, כִּי פָּרָשַׁת שׁוֹפְטִים נֶאֱמַר עַל תְּשׁוּבָה: “מִי הָאִישׁ הַיָּרֵא וְרַךְ הַלֵּבָב” ‘הַיָּרֵא מֵעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ’
The English translation reads:
“This is the yarka market – to the places in which a person needs to repent.  Yarka alludes to repentance, as the Midrash says (Genesis Rabbah 43:2): ‘I will empty them out (spelled Hurricane)  in Parashas Shoftim, that he encouraged them to do teshuva’, for repentance is mentioned in the Torah section of Shoftim.”
Rebbe Nachman, and subsequently Rav Berland were demonstrating a clear link between the ‘hurricane’ that would develop at the time of the Parashas Shoftim and the need to make teshuva.

According to Wikipedia:

“Irma developed on August 30, 2017 near the Cape Verde Islands, from a tropical wave that had moved off the west African coast three days prior.[1][2][3] ” Just three short days before Wednesday, August 30 every Jewish community had read Parashas Shoftim on the preceding Shabbat.
At the time of writing, Hurricane Jose is now being touted as a possible additional threat to the North East coast of America. Hashem is clearly sending the world many clear signals that we need to make teshuva – and fast.

Parshat Ki Tavo 5778 - Man's free choice is all in the eyes


From the words of Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita,  translated from ‘Tzama Nafshi’.


Am Yisrael is an Am Kadosh (holy nation). It only seeks to serve [God] in holiness and purity. Am Yisrael doesn’t seek to get ‘prophecies’, or big ‘spiritual levels’, which is what the nations of the world and the people who don’t know the true way to serve Hashem are looking for.

This was the mistake that Bilaam made, and that all the nations of the world makes. By them, the ikker (essence) is to be a ‘big’ man, an important guy, someone who’s famous. But by Am Yisrael, we’re only looking for one thing: how do we serve [God] in holiness and purity, which is the  opposite of all the ideologies and the doctrines espoused by the nations of the world, who don’t have the first idea about true kedusha (holiness).

They really have no idea about this concept of kedusha. Am Yisrael are kedoshim (holy), they aren’t satisfied with just empty words. By us, the first thing we do is start to work on our kedusha, on our shmirat eynayim (guarding of the eyes), on kedushat habrit (sanctifying our marital relations), and we fight for these things. We want to be saved from [transgressing] the ‘don’t’ in ‘don’t stray after your hearts and lust after your eyes’, even though this is very hard, and a person often doesn’t see any way that he could possibly be saved from transgressing this.

But he knows that he has to fight for it, and that he doesn’t have any other choice – this is the whole reason he came to the world!…


And this is what is written in the book Even Shleimah, by the Vilna Gaon, that a man only comes to the world in order to overcome this thing, only for this he comes to the world. And not for any other reason! All the other things only come to help assist him with his kedusha.

People think that kedusha is an insignificant thing. There’s 613 mitzvot, and these also include the ‘don’t do it’, the negative commandment, to not stray after our hearts and lust after our eyes…

The Rambam says that all those who think it’s OK to skip over the ‘don’t’ in ‘don’t stray after your hearts’ etc, and who like to put that part in brackets, or leave is somewhere on the side, and who like to say: “There’s 613 mitzvot… On this one mitzvah, I’m not makpid (strictly observant)… After all, not everyone keeps every single mitzvah.

I’m keeping the mitzvah to be a Torah genius, and to be a famous scholar, and to be a person reknowned to have ruach hakodesh (the spirit of prophesy). But to keep the ‘don’t’ in ‘don’t stray after your hearts’? I don’t have time for that. This is beyond my capabilities, I’m a busy man, I’m the one driving the bus, here.

Truly, the world is making a big error with this. It’s certain that a person can guard his eyes, even someone who has to drive somewhere can guard his eyes, he can ask God to guard his eyes for him, because by way of prayer, it’s possible to attain everything.

Just like Avraham Avinu, who travelled across the world but who didn’t see anything. And also like the sons of Yaakov Avinu, who went from Israel to the land of Egypt, and who didn’t open their eyes the whole way. The midrash says that they didn’t see anything on the way. A person can travel across the whole world, and still guard his eyes!

Now, we’re travelling to Uman, and it’s certain that we can guard our eyes throughout the journey. People look at profanity, then say there’s nothing wrong with it. A person blemishes his eyes, then says ‘what did I do?! What sin did I do?! I’m not influenced but what I’m seeing!’ – but this is a lie!!


It’s told that the ‘Beit Yisrael’ had to meet a group of professors, who asked him: “Why are the chareidim so scared from seeing things, from every sight? These things don’t influence us or disturb us at all.”

The Beit Yisrael replied, “What can we compare this matter to? To a Bedouin and a European gentleman. The Bedouin spends his whole life going barefoot over sharp stones and splinters and thorns. From the day he’s born, he’s walking across the pointiest stones, and it really doesn’t bother him. He doesn’t feel any pain in the soles of his feet.

“And then we have the European gentleman, who is bothered by even the smallest stone that he can feel inside his shoe, or the tiniest bit of sand, and already he can’t go on, because his foot hurts him. He suffers a great deal from this.”

The Beit Yisrael continued: ”This is the moral of the story: You professors are like the Bedouin, you’ve already so spiritually sullied yourselves, with all your infinite tumah (spiritual impurity), that a small stone, a small sin, a small forbidden sight, a small glimpse of something – you already don’t notice it at all.

“But for a person who has a completely refined soul, and who is guarding his soul, even the smallest thing – the smallest sin, the smallest forbidden sight, the smallest forbidden peek – this bothers him! It pains him! It stabs him with a thousand daggers.”


Man’s free choice exists only in the eyes. The moment that a man guards his eyes, he can reach all the spiritual levels that exist in the world. He’s not going to speak lashon hara any more, he’s not going to be harshly judgmental of other people, he’s not going to oversleep, he’s going to keep Shabbat, and lay tefillin…

And we’re not just talking about guarding our physical eyes, here, we’re also talking about guarding our ‘mental’ eyes, too. A person can guard his physical eyes, but he still has an infinite number of other eyes, like ‘jealous eyes’, and ‘hateful eyes’, and ‘honor-seeking eyes’ – he has to guard every type of ‘eye’ that he has, and to disconnect all of his senses from the world.

He shouldn’t look at any worldly matter, he shouldn’t look at anything. All his senses and all of his desire – it should all be only for Hashem Yitborach, and for Hashem’s honor. And when a person guards his eyes like this (both his physical eyes, and his ‘jealous’ and ‘hating’ eyes, etc)…then all the secrets of the Torah are revealed to him, and all of the secrets of creation, and all the wonders of the world.



What happened after Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol got excommunicated - and how is this connected to Rav Eliezer Berland?


A couple of years’ ago, the great kabbalist in Tiberius, Rav Dov Kook, shlita, gave one of Rav Eliezer Berland’s students a signed note where he stated that Rav Eliezer Berland is a soul spark of the great Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol.

Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol was the undisputed Gadol HaDor, and had a grasp of the revealed and hidden aspects of the Torah that was unparalleled by any of the other Sages of his generation – including his students Rabban Gamliel, and Rabbi Akiva.

Despite the fact that Rav Eliezer Hagadol was the Tzaddik of the generation and on the highest spiritual level, the Sages of that time couldn’t understand him and actually excommunicated him.

The Gemara in Bava Metzia 59b brings an account of the whole story, which began as a debate between Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol and the other Sages, about whether an oven which had come into contact with tumah, spiritual impurity, could ever be declared tahor, or ritually pure, again.

Rabbi Eliezer said ‘yes’, the other Sages said ‘no!’ – and thus the scene was set for the terrible humiliation and excommunication of Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol.


Before we continue, we should understand that the Sages weren’t really arguing about the status of an oven, but about the status of the Jewish people itself, in this terrible period just after the second Beis HaMikdash had been destroyed by the Romans.

Another passage from a different Gemara, this time about Rebbi Meir, sheds some light on this subject. The Maharsha expounds on this passage, and explains that Rebbe Meir was the Gadol HaDor. They used to bring him an impure thing and he used to say it was tahor, pure! And show them the inside of it.

The Maharsha explains that the real, deep intention here is that they would bring him a ‘tamei’ thing – i.e. a person who seemed to be spiritually impure, and very far away from Hashem and very far away from having good middot (character traits) – and Rebbe Meir would pronounce on him: “Tahor! Spiritually pure!”

He would show them that deep down, this person was still spiritually pure, and could still do teshuva and return to Hashem.


The same deep considerations were occurring in relation to Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol’s argument with the other Sages. Let’s return to the Gemara, to see what happened next:

“On that day, R’ Eliezer advanced all the arguments in the world to defend his lenient rulings, but the Sages didn’t accept his arguments.”

R’ Eliezer even caused a number of miracles to happen, to prove that the halacha really accorded with his loftier view of things, including getting a stream of water to flow backwards, and having a heavenly voice (bat kol) weigh in on his side of the argument. But the Sages, led by Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabban Gamliel, were not to be persuaded.

The Gemara continues with a description of what happened next, after this argument:

“On that day, [the Sages] collected all the things that Rabbi Eliezer had declared tahor and burned them in fire in his presence. And they voted on him and excommunicated him…[after Rabbi Eliezer was informed of this…] At that time the world was smitten. A third of the world’s olives, a third of its wheat and a third of its barley became ruined…

“A great blow occurred on that day, for every place on which R’ Eliezer set his eyes went up in flames.”


On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, was forced to go through an appalling ‘show trial’ where he had to publicly confess to sins he’d never committed. Time and again, the Israeli courts had barred any appeal to release the Rav to house arrest, until the conclusion of his trial.

Behind the scenes, the Rav’s health was suffering tremendously, yet the Israel Prison Service refused permission for the Rav to have the urgent medical attention he required, in order to deal with what was fast becoming a life-threatening situation.

The situation was clear to the Rav’s legal team: If the Rav publicly ‘confessed’ to what he’d been falsely accused of, then the courts and Prison Service would let him see the doctors required to treat his advanced cancer. If not – he’d be forced to sit in prison without adequate medical care for another two years.

Given the stark facts on the ground, there was really no other choice, other than to agree to a plea bargain.

The day that Rav Eliezer Berland was forced to debase himself in court was November 22, 2016. On that day, to quote the Gemara:

“The world was smitten… for every place on which R’ Eliezer set his eyes went up in flames.”

At exactly the same time that the Rav was publicly shamed and sentenced in an Israeli courtroom, the first fires were reported around Zichron Yaakov and in a few other places.

These fires began as Rav Berland left the court in Jerusalem to be taken back to Tzalmon prison, located near Zichron Yaakov. Shortly after the fire in Zichron Yaakov became national news (and before any other major fires had occurred in Israel), the kabbalist Rav Dov Kook from Teveria made the following statement:

“All the terrible forest fires that are happening now around Zichron Yaakov are because of the persecution and suffering of the holy tzaddik, Rav Eliezer Berland. The measure of justice is being weighed out primarily against us in the north, and we need to know that the terrible fires that are burning there in a few different places are because Rav Berland is being held in the north, close to Teveria.

“The Midrash says that when people persecute and shame tzaddikim, then Hakadosh Baruch Hu brings fires to the world! All the slanderers and people who are speaking libels and falsehoods about this awesome, holy  tzaddik should be aware that soon, judgment will occur, and that there is a Judge mamash, who will reveal his [Rav Berland’s] honor and innocence to every eye.”

It was only after Rav Kook’s statement that the north was really hit particularly hard by raging fires. Fires were reported in and around a number of northern cities, including Hadera, Zichron Yaakov and the northern metropolis of Haifa, where more than 75,000 residents had to be evacuated.


More than 250 separate fires continued to rage for more than five days across every part of Israel. While the Israeli government was quick to blame the fires on Arab terrorists, Israel’s Home Front Command stated that no more than 5 percent of the fires appeared to be deliberate acts of arson[1]. The rest had occurred spontaneously, with no obvious cause.


Amazingly, the Daf Yomi being learned on the day that Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, was being sentenced and shamed in court, November 22, 2016, was…Bava Metzia 59b.


[1] Two weeks after the fires, the Israeli government admitted that they’d only been able to press charges against three Arab arsonists. All the other fires were “unexplained.”

Spend Rosh Hashana in Uman, with Rav Ofer Erez


In Chayei Moharan, Rebbe Nachman famously taught:

My Rosh Hashanah is greater than everything. I cannot understand how it is that if my followers really believe in me they are not all meticulous about coming to me for Rosh Hashanah. No- one should be missing! My whole mission is Rosh Hashanah.

Everyone , without exception, who counts himself as one of my followers or takes heed of what I say should come to me for Rosh Hashanah. Anyone who is worthy of being with me for Rosh Hashanah should be very happy: “Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 ) .

A little further on, in verse 405, Rebbe Nachman says that:

My Rosh Hashanah is something completely new – and God knows it is not something I inherited from my fathers. God Himself gave me the gift of knowing what Rosh Hashanah is. That all of you are dependent on my Rosh Hashanah goes without saying. The entire world depends on my Rosh Hashanah!

There have been few years where Rebbe Nachman’s words have been so prescient. As we head into 5778, North Korea is continuing to threaten the US with a nuclear strike, Iran is continuing to build missile launching facilities in Syria, a few scant kilometres from Israel’s border, and every corner of the world is being ravaged by awesome hurricanes, floods and wild fires.

We can all use all the help we can get to make this Rosh Hashana really count, spiritually, and to turn the spiritual balance in our favor. Which is why we have some very good news to share with you:


Rav Ofer Erez, shlita, has been taking hundreds and even thousands of people to Uman for Rosh Hashana for decades, but this is the first time ever that he’s agreed to chaperone a small group of English speakers, too.

Participants will recieve:

  • A special bracha from the Rav, before Rosh Hashana
  • The opportunity to pray with Rav Ofer Erez over the holiday and shabbat
  • The opportunity to schedule a private meeting with Rav Ofer Erez, together with a translator (if required)
  • And last but certainly not least, the spiritual ‘uplift’ of being by Rebbe Nachman for Rosh Hashana.

Hurry, because places are limited and Rosh Hashana is only two weeks away! If you’d like to spend Rosh Hashana with Rav Ofer and Rabbenu, please call:

In the US: 1 – 347 – 873 – 1222

In Israel: (972) 58 – 632 – 2207

Or email: ab.kayalt@gmail.com

And remember what Rebbe Nachman taught us:

The entire world depends on my Rosh Hashanah!

And as we head into 5778, it seems that we – and the world we live – could use all the help we can get.

Your chance to help bring Rav Ofer Erez's books to the English-speaking public


In Likutey Moharan, Lesson 15: 2, Rebbe Nachman says the following:

“How do we raise up fear? By judging our own actions, and in this way a person can remove from himself all fears, elevating fear to a state of clarity and purity. And then, there will remain with him only fear of Hashem and no other fears. Because when a person doesn’t judge himself, they judge him from above…”

Rabbenu teaches us in Lesson 15 that one of the greatest tikkunim is for a person to contemplate the lackings that he has within him. In our daily hitbodedut, it’s enough for us to see one failure that we had today, this week or even in the last year, where we identify that maybe we have a little bit of jealousy, that we didn’t look favorably on someone else, or had some other bad trait or lust.

It’s important to remember the following rule. The yetzer hara loves the work of judging ourselves. Every time a person comes to judge himself, the yetzer hara comes along with him and tries to strengthen the person in his work. He says to him: ‘on the contrary, this is a great tikkun that all the Tzaddikim went through. Well done! You have revealed really where you are in the world’.


After a person checks and checks and discovers all the hundreds of weaknesses and lusts he possesses, along comes the yetzer hara and says: “Now that we have learned so much about the real you, now tell me, is there any hope for you? Maybe after a thousand years in Gehinnom, if you’re lucky, they’ll find you a place in some far off corner near the gate of Gan Eden…”

The yetzer hara uses this service to make a person’s heart very heavy. Therefore the work of ‘judging ourselves’ is actually very dangerous and can cause a person to fall into despair and depression.

In practice, a person needs to identify one or two bad character traits within himself a day. For example, today I identified that I have anger, today I identified that I have jealousy. Then, he should immediately come to Hashem and say to him: ‘Abba, have mercy on me, I don’t want the anger and I don’t want the jealousy, help me to not be this way’. This helps all of his spiritual work.

In most cases, without a broken heart, a person can’t successfully pass through such self-examination unless he suddenly receives a ‘spirit from above’ and feels an immense desire to regret and cry. In general, though, it’s important for a person to go with the above advice, in order that he’ll have the strength to continue and not to fall as a result.


One of the main results a person achieves through self-judging is that he doesn’t go through the world with a false imagination. Every person has good days, when he is on an up, when his prayers flow and he manages to do good deeds. But, after a week like that, he already falls into confusion that he’s certainly the Tzaddik of the generation, or at least a hidden Tzaddik, and those around him are the ones holding back the redemption…

Rav Dessler says in his book “Michtav MiEliyahu” in the name of the Maharal of Prague, that what is holding back the redemption is not our lackings and our sins, rather it’s the falsehood in a person that he doesn’t see the truth about himself.

The work of judging oneself is an immense tikkun because it removes the screens between us and Hashem and helps us come close to Him.


It’s important that a person learns to confess, and to protest the bad, without falling as a result. We want the opposite to happen! The goal is to be happy with the work of clarifying the truth, because all this internal cleaning builds a new closeness to the Master of the world.

Rabbenu reveals to us that through judging ourselves a person removes all his fears. This is the secret: all the fear that we feel doesn’t actually come from the things themselves. In reality, there are no ‘scary things’, no scary Arabs, no scary dogs, rather there is a decree from heaven that this thing will come and cause me to be afraid now.

Why? A person sins and doesn’t pay attention to it. Then the time for judgment above arrives, and they judge him and this results in the person experiencing fear down below in order that the person will wake up and judge himself.

Therefore, when a person follows the advice of judging himself, there is then no need for him to be judged above, because he’s already done the work himself. “When there is judgment below, there is no judgment above”, and then a person won’t have any decrees made against him, and he has no fears. This is the way to remove all fears from upon ourselves.


When a person works constantly on this, even for just a few weeks, he’ll now find that those things that he used to fear in the past, no longer scare him. Afterwards, says Rabbenu, many gates of Torah and prayer are opened up for him. This is the removing of the masks and coming closer to Hashem. A person who holds on to truth, merits to have the Torah (which is truth) revealed to him.

Working on judging ourselves takes just five minutes a day, where we confess to one or two matters, protest that we don’t want this and request mercy from Hashem that He should save us from these things. When a person is a “master of accounting”, as the Zohar calls it, in this world, then in the World to Come there is no Beit Din that is able to judge him. Rather Hashem Himself judges this person, and when Hashem judges a person, he’s always found innocent.

  • Excerpted from Rav Ofer Erez’s new book in English, From the Depths. If you’d like to help get ‘From the Depths’ and other of Rav Ofer Erez’s books printed and translated into English, please contact: 

In the US: 1 – 347 – 873 – 1222

In Israel: (972) 58 – 632 – 2207

Or email: ab.kayalt@gmail.com

Rav Berland puts the final touches to a very special mezuzah.


While many of those who have come to daven and pray with the Rav at his home on Ido HaNavi have recently seen some enormous things moving in their lives via their connection to such a holy Tzaddik, not everyone can come and pray with the Rav in Jerusalem.

So Rav Berland has been searching for other routes to benefit Am Yisrael, in a way that’s easier for everyone to grasp. To that end, he’s taken it upon himself to write the last letter in a limited number of very special mezuzot, to bring down more blessings and miracles for Am Yisrael.

In a handwritten note, the Rav wrote:

“All the mezuzahs to be sold under the supervision of the Rav (Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita), the Rav is supervising each and every single apostrophe, and each and every single letter. The Rav will write the final letter [of each mezuzah parchment].

“These mezuzot will bring a bounty of parnassa (financial sustenance) to each and every home, a bounty of billions, and a bounty of salvations, healings and miracles. All the seriously ill people will be healed, all the paralysis will disappear.”

Rav Berland paused to open up a copy of the Zohar Chadash in front of many of the people visiting him, to the section about receiving miracles and salvations. He then continued:

“In the merit of these mezuzot, no affliction, illness or quarrel will enter the holy house where it is affixed to the entrance, and to the entrance of every room. Everyone who buys these mezuzot will have long days, and long years, and will merit to live until 120, amen.”

Thus the handwritten note from Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, concludes.

If you would like to participate in the rare opportunity to buy one of these very special mezuzot, please contact (if dialling from outside Israel, add +972):  050-418-7241.

You can also hear Rav Berland talking about these mezuzahs directly by going HERE.

Rav Berland on Parshat Ki-Teitzei


Happiness saves us from all our sins! By way of happiness, we merit every healing and cure! By way of happiness, we merit to have every salvation!… By way of happiness, we can wipe out Amalek! And erase all of our sins! By way of happiness, we can escape from every sin in the whole world.

We need to be very careful to always be happy, because the second that there’s some sadness because we did a sin, or because we’re worrying about making a living, then a person can very easily fall into an even bigger transgression. Because of his sadness, because of his worry, he can fall into much bigger sins.

There are people who enjoy feeling sad more than anything else, they spend their whole life feeling sad. If you try to cheer them up, even a little bit, you just annoy them. They never felt the taste of true happiness their whole life.

“And the rule is that we need to make every effort, with every drop of our strength, to always be in a state of happiness, because it’s human nature for a person to be attracted to bitter blackness, depression, and sadness, because of all his flaws and past actions. And every person is full of suffering and difficulties, so he needs to force himself, using all of his strength, to always be happy.” – Likutey Moharan, Part II, Lesson 24.

A person becomes sad in order to try to forget all of the difficulties he’s experiencing. The sadness plunges him into a sort of bitter, black depression which numbs his thought processes and paralyses his senses. Sadness is an opiate! Sadness is an opiate, a drug, that makes a person feel ‘quiet’ and ‘serene’ – but this is all just pretend, imagination!


The opposite is really true! Sadness and depression only amplifies the difficulties, and causes them to grow even larger. So, the essence of a person’s spiritual work is to fight against this sadness, and this requires a lot of mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice). Never let the sadness and depression rule over you!

Rav Natan says that fighting against despair requires a lot of mesirut Nefesh. Happiness doesn’t come all by itself. Acquiring happiness is the hardest thing of all. The biggest obstacles of all are placed in front of happiness. The whole war that that the Soton (satan) is fighting is only around happiness! This is what he’s fighting about! His whole war is that you shouldn’t be happy. This is the work of the Soton, that you shouldn’t feel happy, that you shouldn’t dance, that you shouldn’t feel joyful.

Each of has to endure indignities and disgrace, each us goes through all sorts of escapades with out bodies and souls. There’s a million reasons why we should be depressed! It’s human nature, to feel sad and depressed! But it’s possible to sort everything out with happiness. If a person dances and sings songs to Hashem, then all the shefa, all the bounty will come to him.

There’s no reason, truly, to be sad. Each of us has a powerful intellect, each of can achieve everything contained in the whole world, but only if a person leaves his sadness and depression behind.

By way of happiness, we can merit to turn the ‘down’ into an ‘up’, and change all the judgments into salvations.

Rav Berland at the brit of the miracle baby
Rav Berland with his community


Many readers emailed us asking us if we could give them an update on what happened with Rav Berland’s infected leg. If you recall shortly before our websites were maliciously hacked last month, we launched a campaign to try to raise the millions of shekels required to fly in a the top specialist doctor from the US, in an effort to prevent the Rav’s leg from being amputated, G-d forbid.

So many people responded with prayers for the Rav’s health and with donations to help cover the enormous costs of getting the Rav specialist treatment, and in their merit we were able to pay for the specialists to come and see the Rav in Hadassah Ein Kerem, and to devise a special program of treatment to try to save his leg.

We’re very pleased to share that with the help of Heaven, Rav Berland is now out of danger, and is no longer at serious risk of losing his leg.

However, he’s still going for almost daily treatments at Hadassah, but his treatments are being scheduled around the three daily prayers the Rav is committed to saying with the kehilla (community) every day at the temporary shul on Ido HaNavi.

Again, this is tremendous mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice) on behalf of the Rav, as most people with his leg condition would be on uninterrupted bed rest for three months, to enable their leg to fully heal. However, the Rav values his prayers with the community so highly, he’s willing to push himself with the last drop of his strength to stand in prayer with the kehilla.

But the leg is on the mend, baruch Hashem, and so much of that is in the merit of our readers and the other members of Klal Yisrael who prayed for the Rav, and contributed to the cost of bringing in the specialists to treat him.

May Hashem bless you for all of your kindness and generosity, and may we all only hear good tidings.

Rav Berland's aura captured on film


The security team that was assigned by the Israeli court to accompany Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, 24/7 have no idea what’s going on:

They’re using the most hi-tech cameras and equipment possible, yet they keep getting ‘white outs’ only around the Rav, which are preventing them from seeing his face.

When they told us about the problem, we explained that this is nothing new, and showed them the video taken of the aura around Rav Berland during his L’ag B’Omer shiur, and also told them about Attorney Ephraim Dimri’s stories of how the Israeli Prison Service’s cameras kept ‘losing’ the Rav in prison, and couldn’t find him anywhere.

The security guys agreed to give us a couple of stills from one of their latest video which clearly shows the aura around Rav Berland, shlita, and we’re working on getting a video clip up, too.

But in the meantime, the Rav’s aura has returned.