Rav Elazar Mordechai Koenig of Tsfat:
“They used my signature against the Gaon and the Tzaddik Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, against my will
“They’re threatening me with ‘terror tactics’ and enormous pressure, consequently I’m not speaking out about this publicly.”
Rav Elazar Mordechai Koenig, shlita, is the leader of the Breslov community in Tsfat, and also of a Breslov community in chut l’aretz. He’s one of the leading Breslov rabbis of the generation, and recently he published a dramatic message via Rav Shmuel Horovinski from Kiryat Sefer.
Rav Horovinski (one of the authors of the ‘Flames of Fire’ book in Hebrew, which describes some of the many amazing stories and holy practices of Rav Berland, shlita) is the son-in-law of Rav Moshe Mordechai Karp from Kiryat Sefer.
Recently, Rav Horovinski visited Tsfat and during a private conversation with Rav Koenig, Rav Horovinski asked him why he’d appended his signature to a recently published letter that purported to be attacking Rav Eliezer Berland and the Shuvu Banim community.
Rav Koenig responded with the following dramatic statement:
“It’s clear to everyone that I never said anything. I didn’t say a word, and I didn’t sign on anything that was against the Gaon and Tzaddik, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, or against the ‘Shuvu Banim’ community. G-d forbid, I have nothing against him! Everyone knows this.”
Exclaimed Rav Elazar Mordechai Koenig.
Rav Koenig felt so strongly about this point, he reiterated it again, saying: “I never, ever signed on anything that was against Rav Berland, shlita, and his followers. What I signed was a statement condemning the violent attack against my brother-in-law, Rav Kramer.”
(Rav Kramer was publicly attacked and had his shtreimel deliberately pushed off in an incident that was subsequently investigated by the police, and found to be part of a monetary dispute between Rav Kramer and his assailant, and nothing at all to do with Shuvu Banim.
Rav Berland was one of the first Rabbonim to sign a statement condemning the attack on the well-respected Rabbi from the Breslov Meah Shearim community. You can read more about what happened HERE.)
Rav Koenig continued: “Everyone knows that this is the only thing I put my signature to. Everyone [from the Shuvu Banim community] is personally invited to visit me, and I will strengthen them, and he will hear these words clearly from me – to stay with Rav Berland, shlita, stay strong within the community, and don’t be afraid of anything.
“Ultimately, all these lies that they’re writing will disappear in a few days’ time. So there’s nothing to fear from all these lies being put around by the falsifiers [Rav Berland’s persecutors].”
Rav Koenig concluded by saying to Rav Horovinski:
“I’d like to ask you to please publicize my words to as many people as possible. I don’t want to make a more public statement directly, or to put my signature to something in a more clear fashion because they are threatening me with terror tactics and pressuring me a lot, and this will only cause a much greater machloket (strife, controversy) than already exists.”
You can hear the interview with Rav Shmuel Horovinski yourself, where he gives over this message from Rav Elazar Mordechai Koenig, shlita, HERE.