The terrible persecution of Rav Berland continues: He’s sent back to prison days after having a kidney removed

Rav Berland's afflictions in the time before the geula
"Rabbi Eliezer enters the 'Hall of Maladies' - Zohar


Just a few short days after undergoing a second, very serious operation where his kidney is removed, the 80 year old tzaddik was sent back to prison, where he’s not even receiving the bare minimum care that someone in his situation requires. Here, we take a look at the deeper spiritual reasons behind the terrible, cruel way that Rav Berland, shlita, is being treated, and how it’s all connected to the redemption of the Jewish people. 


Around two years’ ago, roughly, in the month of Tevet 5775, when Eretz Yisrael was caught up in a maelstrom of terror attacks, and people were scared to walk on the streets, Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, experienced two serious fainting attacks where he fell unconscious and was admitted to hospital.

At that time, Rav Berland was in the depth of the difficult exile that he’d taken upon himself in order to accelerate the geula (redemption), and to sweeten the harsh judgments that were resting on Am Yisrael.

As we described in the Knishta Chada Newsletter, #38, the night before this awful event occurred Rav Berland gave over a shiur (Torah class) via telephone, to mark the yahrtzeit (death) of Rabbi Natan of Breslov. During the shiur, the Rav referred to the story of Rabbi Hersh Leib Lippel, when he was Uman, who became very sick after two of his friends had passed away, and who was admitted to hospital.

The doctors and nurses expected Rav Lippel to die. The chevra kaddish (burial society) had already arrived, when Rav Lippel suddenly woke up, and told the astonished bystanders how he’d seen the Angel of Death with his unsheathed sword, and been taken ‘Upstairs’, to the spiritual realms.

In the upper spiritual realms, Rav Lippel had seen his two recently-deceased friends, who were waiting for him by the entrance to Gan Eden. They hadn’t wanted to go in until Rav Hersh Leib also arrived – but Rav Hersh Leib didn’t want to pass away at that point, so he fought with the Angel of Death, overpowered him, and subsequently returned to his body, in this world.

After he fell unconscious Rav Berland said about this: “As I said in the shiur yesterday, that’s what happened with me today. I was already up [in the spiritual realms], but I fought with and overpowered the Angel of Death!”

In the time it took for the ambulance crew to arrange for the fire service to take the Rav out through the window of his hotel room on the fourth floor and lower him to the street below with a crane, the Rav’s holy soul had already returned to this world.

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Something awesome is written in the holy Zohar (Vayahkel 212): “In the hour when the Moshiach is told about the suffering that Am Yisrael is experiencing during its exile; and about the evil-doers amongst them who aren’t paying attention to their creator and who are causing the exile to be lengthened; Moshiach raises his voice, and cries about the evil-doers who are amongst them. And this is what is written (in the Prophet Isaiah, 53) “And he became sick due to our transgressions, inflicted because of our iniquities.”

“There is a hall in Gan Eden that’s called the ‘Hall of Maladies’. So, Moshiach enters this hall, and he calls to all the diseases, and to all the pain, and to all the suffering of Am Yisrael, that they should come to him – and everything comes to him [instead]. And if wasn’t for the fact that Moshiach lightens up Am Yisrael’s suffering, by taking it upon himself, there wouldn’t be a single person who could endure Israel’s suffering [that comes] as a punishment on account of abandoning to the Torah.

“This is what is written about the Moshiach (in the Prophet Isaiah, 53): ‘Therefore, he bears our sickness,’ that the maladies that were supposed to fall on us, he accepts them upon himself, and suffers from them, and ‘from our pains he is afflicted’ – that he suffers the afflictions that were meant to fall upon us.”

This is like Rabbi Eliezer, in this world, who takes upon himself the afflictions of the Israel, and tells the suffering: ‘come, my brothers, my companions.’ [As it’s written in Tractate Bava Metzia, 84b]” Thus, says the Zohar.


We saw previously that Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, already sacrificed himself for Am Yisrael two years’ ago, to the point of mamash almost dying – and we’re not even talking about the many insults, afflictions, and bitter exiles that he’s also taken upon himself.

The Zohar in Vayakhel is showing us how the Tzaddik enters the ‘Hall of Maladies’ and afflictions, and take upon himself all the diseases and suffering that was meant for Am Yisrael, G-d forbid.

We recently received word from the doctors who operated on Morainu Rav Berland, shlita, that Baruch Hashem, everything that the Rav was suffering from was removed, and that nothing metastasized. Rav Berland, shlita, is already 80 years’ old, and is still continuing to suffer the torments of hell, both at the present time and also over the last four years when he was so cruelly persecuted and chased.

No other mortal could have stood up in these afflictions, yet, Baruch Hashem, the Rav is strong, because the strength of a Jew is in his mouth (i.e. IN his ability to pray). The doctors told us that no other human being could have endured the suffering that Rav Berland, shlita, has experienced.


Just three short weeks’ ago after the Rav’s first surgery, we were told by the Rav’s gabbai (attendant) Natan Besanson, that growths had been removed from three different parts of the Rav’s body.

We thought that perhaps after all of this, Rav Berland would be able to finally relax a little bit, and to gather his strength to continue. But it wasn’t to be. Very shortly afterwards, we were informed that Morainu Rav Berland shilt”a, had to undergo an additional operation, where the Rav had to have one of his kidneys removed.

Was this going to be the final ‘chapter’ in Rav Berlands suffering and affliction?


Here’s what the Rav’s gabbai, Natan Besanson, told us a little while before Shabbat Zachor: “All of us know just how much Morainu, Rav Berland, shlita, serves Hashem in a supernatural manner, [praying and learning Torah] for hours upon hours without a break, even in the most difficult circumstances. Yesterday [while the Rav was still in the hospital recuperating from the surgery where one of his kidneys were removed] he stood for more than an hour and a half during the minchah (afternoon) prayers, while he was still fasting.

“It’s simply impossible for a person to come out of two serious surgeries like this in good health, but the doctors are seeing that Rav Berland is continuing with his service of Hashem, and simply don’t understand the self-sacrifice [that’s involved].

“There are wicked people – whose wickedness can’t be comprehended by the human mind – who are devoted to causing even more confusion among the doctors. Even the Prison Service doctors said that [after two such serious surgeries], there was no possibility that the Rav should be immediately returned to prison. But, then they saw him standing up and praying, with such force, and somehow ‘forgot’ that he actually just had two surgeries to remove tumours.

“Yesterday, Rav Berland wrote to one of the tzaddikim to help him, because ‘three ‘leviathans’, a snake and a serpent’ are chasing after him. If Hashem wasn’t helping the Rav, it would have been impossible for him to endure it.

“I met another patient, 40 years’ old, who told me that he’s already spent 12 shabbats [in the hospital], and he simply can’t understand how Rav Berland, shlita, is standing on his feet – it’s impossible! We’re talking about two operations to remove tumorous growths, and the time it takes for the body to get used to operating with just one kidney – and Morainu, Rav Berland, shlita, is already standing for hours in prayer. And he doesn’t complain about anything, quite the opposite, he tells us that everything is fine by him.


“Every human being has free choice. In every generation, there have been ‘kapos’ and informers. Rav Natan [of Breslov] was also persecuted until the very end. Rav Berland is being persecuted until the very end.

The Rav has been returned to a place [i.e. prison] where he’s not even receiving the most basic care that someone in his situation requires.

“It seems as though HaKadosh Baruch Hu wants to show us miracles, and to show us how he’s helping Rav Berland, shlita, despite all the wickedness and terrible cruelty that’s being played out in connection with Morainu, Rav Berland, shlita.”


It’s good to take a look at the words of the Prophet Isaiah, in chapters 52-53, where he describes the suffering that the Moshiach will have to endure before he comes to redeem Am Yisrael:

“Behold, my servant will succeed; he will be exalted and become high and exceedingly lofty. Just as multitudes were astonished over you, [saying], ‘His appearance is too marred to be a man’s, and his visage to be human,’ so will many nations exclaim about him, and kings will shut their mouths, for they will see that which had never been told to them, and will perceive things they had never heard.

“Who would believe what we have heard! For whom has the arm of Hashem been revealed? Formerly he grew like a sapling or like a root from arid ground; he had neither form nor grandeur; we saw him, but without a face that we could desire.”

As if that wasn’t precise enough, the prophet then continues:

“He was despised and isolated from men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness. As one from whom we would hide our faces; he was despised, and we had no regard for him.”

In truth, Morainu Rav Berland, shilta, wasn’t in such good health before these recent operations. The Rav, shlita, is already 80 years’ old, and has a metal implant in his foot, a pacemaker in his heart, and many other types of afflictions that he’s taken upon himself. But the situation he is now going through is beyond anything we’ve seen before, even when talking about the tzaddik.

Isaiah continues (53:4-12):

“But in truth, it was our ills that he bore, and our pains that he carried – but we had regarded him diseased, stricken by God, and afflicted. He was pained because of our rebellious sins and oppressed through our iniquities; the chastisement upon him was for our benefit and through his wounds, we were healed.

“We have all strayed like sheep, each of us turning his own way, and Hashem inflicted upon him the iniquity of us all. He was persecuted and afflicted, but he did not open his mouth; like a sheep being led to the slaughter or a ewe that is silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.

“Now that he has been released from captivity and judgment, who could have imagined such a generation? For he had been removed from the land of the living, an affliction up them that was my people’s sin. He submitted himself to his grave like wicked men; and the wealthy to his executions, for committing no crime and with no deceit in his mouth.

“Hashem finds favor in the oppression of the afflicted one. If you [Israel] would acknowledge guilt he will live to see offspring and would succeed in fulfilling the Hashems desires. He would bear fruit and satisfaction from his soul’s distress. I will vindicate the Tzaddik to the multitudes, it is their iniquities that he carries.

“Therefore, I will assign him a portion from the multitudes and he will divide the mighty as spoils – in return for having poured out his soul for death and being counted among the wicked, for he bore the sin of the multitudes, and suffered for the wicked.”



You can hear the interview with the Rav’s gabbai, Natan Besonson, for yourselves by calling the Breslov information line:

In Israel:    02-800-8800

In the US:  1-845-640-0007

In the UK: 44-203-807-333

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