|Rabbi Berland at age 13
(Bar Mitzvah photo)
|Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Mishkovsky|
|Reb Elyah Lopian|
and orchards. His entire essence, however, was completely absorbed in the holy Torah. There in Kfar Chassidim he became very close to the mashgiach Rav Eliyahu Lopian (known as Reb Elyah). When the Rav was still a 20 year old boy Reb Elyah said to him “A great Rosh Yeshiva will come out of you.”
|Reb Chaim Friedlander|
|Reb Chatzkel Levinstein|
When the Rav got engaged to the Rebetzin Tehilla, he moved to Bnei Brak to the Ponyvezh Kollel. There he learned with Torah leaders of the previous generation: R’ Ben Tzion Bamberger zt”l, R’ Yechezkel Levinstein zt”l (also know as Reb Chatzkel), and R’ Chaim Friedlander zt”l of who’s house he slept in. In Ponyvezh the Rav was so engrossed in his learning that nothing else in the world interested him. R’ Shmuel Heller of Haifa remembers them saying to the Rav one Purim, “go dance”, the Rav said, “but I can’t leave the gemara” – his friends threatened to pour water over him but it didn’t help, he couldn’t bring himself to close the gemara.
|Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky
|Rabbi Berland and Rabbi Rosenthal in later years|
So Rav Rosenthal answered him, “By us on Purim, everyone goes to sleep early so they can wake up at midnight and go to the fields to prepare for Purim – to pray ‘save me from the klipah of Haman/Amalek and merit me the holiness of Mordechai and Esther’. For how could a person waste such a holy night with wildness and drunkenness, a night of which it is written, ‘whoever stretches out his hand [in prayer] is given to’.” The Rav was very impressed by this answer and from that moment he began coming close to Breslov.
|Rabbi Shimon Bergstein|
The Rav discussed it over with the Rebetzin and decided to go out in the street.”This money does’nt belong to me. I will go out in the street and the first Rosh Yeshiva I meet I will give him the envelope”. The Rav left the house and right away met the Rosh Yeshiva of Breslov R’ Shimon Bergstein zt”l
and happily handed over the envelope. Later on, says Rav Rosental, R’ Shimon Bergstein told him that that money was what kept the yeshiva alive.
|Rabbi Berland being menachem ovel Reb Chaim|
The Rav went directly there from the airport and when he arrived, there were no visitors, and in general even the most prominent rabbis are not allowed more then ten minutes as not to interfere R’ Chaim’s course of learning. The Rav sat with him for 45 minutes and told him about the greatness of Rabbanit Batsheva a”h that in her merit did the Rav go out of the house for whole nights to do hisbodedus when she helped Rebetzin Tehila and looked after the children. The Rav also read from Tana Dvei Eliyahu who writes “I Testify heaven and earth that whether a man or women etc’ according to their actions can “Ruach Hakodesh” (divine inspiration) dwell upon them”. We were told afterwards that during the visit R’ Chaim had tears streaming down his face and afterwards he said that among all the people that came in the course of the week he hadn’t been consoled like that by anyone else.
|Rabbi Berland teaching at
Yeshiva Shuvu Bonims early days in Bnei Brak
|Rabbi Binyomin Finkel|
Recently one of the Rav’s students met Rav Binyomin Finkel shlit”a Mashgiach of Mir Yerushalayim, and asked him about the the Rav, Rav Finkel answered him “Rav Berland imbues the idea of ‘toil in torah’ into chassidus, I constantly pray for him to return to Israel”.