This year, the gathering of the “Bnei HaNeurim” youth group was held with the theme “Fighting for the home” under the guidance of Moreinu HaRav Eliezer Berland shlit”a. The gathering was held in order to strengthen the holy bachurim (young men) of the “Shuvu Banim” community, that they should merit to abstain from all aspects of the “Greek culture” which is sweeping the entire generation into the abyss of technological devices which are spiritually dangerous to a Jewish person. Like every year, the gathering takes place with the participation of close to a 1,000 holy and pure bachurim from the “Bnei HaNeurim” youth group of our holy community.
At 8:00 pm, the gates of the “Karl Netter” Auditorium in Jerusalem’s Eretz Hafetz neighborhood opened. Hundreds of bachurim from Breslov Shuvu Banim slowly entered the hall to the sounds of the orchestra. After some time, the head of Kever Rachel Institutions, Rabbi Moshe Menachem Kluger shlit”a, ascended to the stage, encouraging the bachurim to be like the Maccabees, to merit to guard the pure oil and completely distancing themselves from all the plagues of technology, as forbidden by the Rav shlit”a and all Gedolei Yisrael.
At 10:10 pm, with the emotional sounds of melodies, Moreinu HaRav shlit”a entered the auditorium. At length, he sat engrossed in his holy books and strengthened himself together with the bachurim with the emotional songs of Hanukah, in the Breslov melody which arouses every heart!
Silenced filled the hall as the Rav shlit”a began his holy words to the hundreds of bachurim, words which come from the heart of the world and penetrate the heart of every bachur wherever he may be found. At the beginning of his words, the Rav shlit”a said that the war of the Maccabees was against the impurity of Greece, and today this is the smartphones and technological devices which are destroying every good aspect of a Jewish person. Afterwards, he spoke about the weekly Parshah regarding the dispute between Yosef and his brothers and how Yosef sat in prison. The Rav said that if a person has intelligence, he knows to utilized his time in captivity for spiritual elevation by learning Gemara and praying in isolation, and this is what Yosef did. Afterwards, he said that Parshat Vayigash is the most important Parashah, because this is the Parashah of the revelation of the Tzaddik – “I am Yosef.” He said that this year we merited that this Parashah coincides with the Hilulah of Rabbi Natan, something which is rare and occurs only once every 17 years.
Afterwards, he returned to the subject of the dispute between Yosef and his brothers, who also had a dispute over the law of a limb torn from a living animal, whether it also applies to foul or only to animals, as is brought in the dispute between the Kreiti Pleiti and the Radbaz regarding the opinion of the Rambam. Afterwards, he brought the question of the Ramban on why Yaakov cursed Shimon and Levi not to receive their portion in the Holy Land when they’re the ones who freed his daughter, Dina, from captivity. In connection with this, he said that also Rabbeinu Nachman was taken captive on his way to the Land of Israel by Philistines. And so too the Baal Shem Tov and his daughter, relating eloquently the story of the Baal Shem Tov and how he was saved in the merit of the letters of the Alef-Bet.
After these words, he returned to the subject of the war against impure devices and said that all the apparent grandeur of “Greek culture” wasn’t culture at all and only had the singular goal of contaminated the minds and hearts of the Jewish people, especially with the terrible desire. And this is the case with the technological devises which there are today. The Rav shlit”a said that parents should instill in their children a repulsion for these forbidden devices so that their children will not want to come near them at all. He stated that this was the essence of Hanukah: to triumph over the culture of Greece – the culture of impure technology.
The Rav shlit”a brought the words of Rabbi Natan in Likutey Halachot Choshen Mishpat, that every person is on the brink [of falling], only that he is “struck with blindness” like those surrounding Lot’s house in Sodom, and a person needs to push away this blindness through breaking these devices and completely abstaining from them.
At the conclusion of his words, the Rav shlit”a encouraged and instructed the bachurim to sign on a form committing themselves to not possess any forbidden device. He said that when a person accepts this onto himself, it’s as if he is shattering an idolatrous altar, like the high priest Yochanan did in front of the Greeks.
At the conclusion of the shiur, hundreds of the bachurim in the group successively approached to receive “Hanukah Gelt” from the holy hands of the Rav shlit”a, holy “Hanukah money.” Meanwhile, hundreds of bachurim emerged in circles and dancing with immense joy, reveling in the merit of being amongst the Maccabees of their generation during the holy days of Hanukah.
Afterwards, the Rav shlit”a returned to his holy home and the holy bachurim of the group returned to their places. These young men merited to witness a special presentation prepared with great effort. This was carried out by the heads of the group who merited to enter the Rav’s home several weeks ago to hear and receive guidance from the Rav shlit”a on how to abstain from these impure devices. True knowledge requires the truth of Torah. At the end of the presentation, the bachurim participated in the humorous “Clickers” program, which brought much laughter to the faces of the bachurim.
Photo gallery from the Hanukah gathering with Rav Berland shlit”a: