Israeli actor Rafi Amzaleg explains why he came to hear Rav Berland in Tel Aviv
Actor Rafi Amzaleg got his big break in the Israeli entertainment industry in 2001, when he appeared in the hit TV show ‘Zimana’. Since then, he’s appeared in a number of Israeli films and productions, including the 2016 hit reality-TV show ‘The Only One’.
In an exclusive interview, we hear a little about what first drew him to Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita.
“If Rav Berland arrived in Tel Aviv, it’s a sign that Moshiach needs to arrive in Jerusalem,”
Rafi told his brother-in-law, when he heard the Rav was coming to the city. The actor sent his wife to try and find out which synagogue the Rav was meant to be speaking in, but she wasn’t successful. There was no posters, no information, to time or date – nothing! Rafi then told her: “If Rav Berland is really coming to Tel Aviv, you can be certain that you’ll hear about it.”
The actor continues:
“I have to say that it’s so unusual for Rav Berland to come to a place like this, because in this neighborhood alone there are five restaurants serving non-kosher meat. And now suddenly, Rav Berland came to this corner of the world, which happens to be directly opposite my house?! The synagogue that he came to speak in is literally right next to my house.
“I suddenly started hearing all these songs from the Rosh Hashana gathering in Uman, and I understood that Rav Berland must have arrived. I looked out the window, and I saw 500-600 people in the street. 600 people!
“Despite the fact that my work is so connected to the Israeli media, I’ve always been so careful never to accept any of the lashon hara (evil speech) that exists in those circles. Never in my life have I seen a leader like Rav Berland, who’s inspired so many people to follow after him. And I’m not just talking about the chassidim who dance in the streets.
“30 years ago, I was a bouncer in a nightclub, until a friend of mine who’d made teshuva invited me to come to Rav Elbaz’s Or HaChaim yeshiva, which is when I also made teshuva. Around that time, I was going through a very difficult situation, so the brother of my chevruta (learning partner) at Or HaChaim invited me to come and see Rav Eliezer Berland at the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in the Old City. He told me that my place was with Rebbe Nachman.
“During that visit, I met one of the Rav’s students called Moshe Revach, and I ended up moving across to Shuvu Banim. The wheel of fortune turned, and I went through what I went through, until I ended up being an actor – but I never lost my connection with Hashem, and with Rebbe Nachman.
“This past Rosh Hashana, I got to Uman again, and from the first day I was there I started looking for Moshe Revach – and I found him!”
You can hear the full interview with Rafi Amzaleg (in Hebrew), where he explains more of how Rav Berland helped him along the path of teshuva, on the Breslov Information line by clicking HERE.
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