“It was a time of suffering for Yaakov, but from it he will be saved.”
This verse certainly applies to the situation Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, currently finds himself in. Two days ago, he was rushed by ambulance to the Intensive Care Unit in Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, where he was anesthetized.
That same night – Wednesday – a large crowd of the Rav’s chassidim, together with many other people who are concerned about the terrible campaign of persecution that is currently being waged against the Torah world in Israel came together to pray, at Kever Rochel.
This is the latest development in the brutal campaign against Rabbi Berland, shlit”a, that began a couple of weeks back, when tens of armed police with stun grenades stormed the Beit HaRav shortly before morning prayers were due to begin, and violently arrested him in front of a large group of his students.
Rabbi Berland’s health is frail – as you might expect for someone who is 82 years old after suffering from cancer, a removed kidney, heart failure and kidney failure – and the Israeli Police’s treatment of him has been unusually cruel and violent.
It’s beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Police’s cruel and unusual treatment has been a very telling factor in the current deterioration of the Rav’s health.
Also telling of the total disregard for the Rav’s health is that when a complaint was made by the Rav’s legal team about the harsh conditions he was being subjected to, and the huge impact it was having on his health, the judge responded by telling the Rav to ‘eat a few Mentos’ to heal himself.
For those who may be reading this without much prior background about who Rabbi Berland actually is, he is a well-known Rabbi in Israel who has been bringing people back in teshuva for over 50 years. He has many tens of thousands all over the world – many of whom don’t self-identify as Breslov chassidim.
Rabbi Berland is currently 82 years old, and over the last few years he’s undergone a number of serious operations, including having three different surgeries to remove malignant growths while in police ‘care’, plus another surgery where one of his kidneys was removed. He’s also suffered from serious pains and infections in his legs that almost led to an amputation, before the decree was sweetened, as well as serious heart issues.
On the other side of the equation are the small group of evil people who have been giving their all to persecute Rav Berland and his community for many years, already. Their nefarious activities have been known, publicized and exposed on multiple occasions in the past, but to our great sorrow, the police have joined forces with this known group of persecutors, and so there is nothing that can be done, legally, to curtail their evil activities.
We can see just how disturbing this picture of persecution becomes when we understand that the Israeli Police possess all this information about the fragile state of Rabbi Berland’s health – but have still decided to treat him with the utmost harshness over the last two months.
In the course of their investigation, the police have called literally hundreds of people who have donated to the yeshiva to come and testify against him, in the hopes of discovering some sort of ‘smoking gun’ they could try to build a credible case against him with.
This is exactly the same tactic they used last time around, depending on ‘shock and awe’ manipulations to try to scare people into turning ‘state’s witnesses’, instead of relying on facts and actual infringements of the law.
And the very worrying outcome of this behavior has not been long in appearing.
After one of the marathon, many hour long interrogation sessions that the Israeli Police subjected him to, Rabbi Berland’s heart condition deteriorated so seriously that he collapsed in the middle of the interrogation was rushed to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where he underwent surgery to put a stent in his heart.
The police insisted that Rabbi Berland should remain handcuffed to the hospital bed the entire time in the hospital.
What’s more, the Rav’s attorneys stated that post-operation, they didn’t let anybody enter his room to see how he was doing, and also didn’t permit anyone to give him anything to eat. They didn’t give him any time to rest or recover from the operation. As soon as the operation was over in the late afternoon, they immediately took him out of the hospital, stuck him in the back of a police car and drove him for an hour to Nitzan Prison in Ramla, only in order to bring him back the very next morning to Jerusalem for court, and drag him back again that afternoon when the court proceedings finished. ALL THIS TIME TO ELDERLY RABBI WAS NOT GIVEN FOOD TO EAT!
Then again, two days ago, Rabbi Berland collapsed again during interrogations and was again brought to the hospital only to be taken out immediately and back to prison.
These things were carefully fact-checked, before we publicized them here.
If the Israeli Police wanted to try to kill the Rav, chas v’halila, it’s hard to think how they could be going about it in a more direct manner.
Don’t forget, the Rabbi is being suspected of white-collar crimes, and there hasn’t even yet been a trial for the police to show evidence, yet they already have apparent given him the death sentence. The worse terrorists are treated better than this. Just last week a 74 year old man was convicted of murder with clear evidence but was let out on house arrest because of his “advanced age.”
And the Israeli Police have continued to act in this terrible vein for weeks, already.
First, they put the Rav in the Nitzan prison, and only afterwards did they bring him back to the prison in Jerusalem, in the Russian Compound.
And every day, the Rav has been kept in isolation from his attendants – seven of whom have also been arrested on the flimsiest of pretexts – and forced to undergo daily ‘interrogation’ sessions lasting many long hours.
Who can believe that something like this could occur in the so-called ‘Jewish State’?
The Israeli police are acting in this fashion because they tried to hang Rabbi Berland on too high a tree. They were expecting far more ‘support’ from their anti-Torah lackeys in the media, and to benefit from whipping up far more ‘anti-Rabbi Berland’ hysteria amongst members of the public.
But this time, despite their best efforts (see the latest story about Channel 12 HERE), they aren’t getting the impact they really want from their slanderous ‘trial by media’. This time around, so many more people have their eyes open, and can clearly see how there is nothing to this case except lies, politics and persecution of the Torah community in Israel.
So now, the police have gone to ‘Plan B’, which is where they try to threaten and entrap the Rav’s students and attendants into becoming ‘state’s witnesses’ against the Rav, in order to build even the pretense of having a case.
May Hashem speedily rescue us all from this cruelty.