RAV ELIYAHU LOPIAN’S INSCRIPTION TO RAV BERLAND
Publicly revealed for the first time the unique inscription that the late Gaon and Tzaddik, Rav Eliyahu Lopian, ztl, wrote in the book “Avnei Miluim” that he gave to Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita.
Rav Lopian met the young Rabbi Berland when the latter was studying at the Knesses Chizkiyahu yeshiva in Kfar Chassidim, close to Haifa, more than 60 years’ ago. Rav Lopian was the yeshiva’s spiritual advisor, or mashgiach ruchani, at that time, and already a towering figure in the Torah and mussar worlds.
The two established a very strong connection despite Rav Berland’s young age, and Rav Lopian, ztl, who was one of the undisputed Torah ‘greats’ of that generation held in him great regard, long before Rav Berland had made any sort of name for himself publicly in the Torah world.
Rav Lopian, ztl, was a leading figure in the mussar movement, and was reknowned for his self-control, composure and order. For example, it’s recounted that Rav Lopian wouldn’t even so much as turn his head without a good reason, and without first deliberating whether it was the correct thing to do.
Every word and gesture of this Gaon and Tzaddik was carefully weighed, which makes the words of his statement below, inscribed in a book sent to his young student R’ Eliezer Berland, even more remarkable.
The words of Rav Lopian’s statement are as follows:
“A present given to my yedid nafshi (dear friend), the Gaon Reb Eliezer Berland, shlita, on Purim day. May the pleasant grace of Hashem rest on him, and may the work of your hands be established, great in Torah and yiras shemayim (the fear of Heaven). May you be for greatness and glory, with strength and courage.
From your friend,
Eliyahu son of R’ Yaakov Lopian”
Rav Lopian, ztl, passed away on September 21, 1970, and was survived by 13 children, many of whom went on to become leading figures in the Torah world in their own right.