Rabbi Eliezer Berland in the African Jungle of Zimbabwe – Translated from Hebrew (UNEDITED)

Translated from Knishta Chada journal issue 26  – January 2014


“Your servant has slain even lion and bear…” (Shmuel 1 17:36)
Some people returned from being with the Rav in Zimmbabwe and related to us amazing stories. The Rav is staying at a luxury hotel with separate villas which is located in a closed off area in middle of the jungle. Wealthy people come from all over the world to experience being in an African jungle for a couple of days. From the lawn of the hotel different animals can be seen walking freely outside – monkeys, giraffes, elephants etc. In the jungle there are also dangerous animals such as lions, tigers, alligators, and coyotes. All the time you can hear roaring and noises from the jungle especially by night. Understandably the whole area is surrounded by an electric fence and in the hotel itself there are security guards 24 hours a day. For those interested there are organized trips in the jungle on protected jeeps with armed guides and from the jeep can be seen the wonders of creation. Even the natives and the guides who are familiar with the jungle never go in without an armed jeep. It’s a wonderful experience for those who come to tour but for those who come only for avodas hashem it’s something completely different. The Rav is very content there and is full of joy, all day long he does hisbodedus in the jungle and he commented that “for 76 years I waited for this day that I could do hisbodedus in forests and jungles like “Dovid Hamelech” that his whole life he was misboded in deserts singing to hashem”. He said “what a miracle that we were thrown out of Morroco and came to this place. He added in Rabbeinu’s words (Sichos Haran 307) “The world just gets nicer and nicer”.
One person told us that all the time he saw miracles and wonders by the Rav.
On the way there he got a bit lost and used up all of his money just on carfare so he didn’t have any money left to pay for the taxi that brought him to the Rav’s hotel. He didn’t notify anyone beforehand that he is coming but in a miraculous way the moment he arrived at the hotel he sees the Rav going out of the lobby with a hundred dollar bill in his hand and the Rav goes straight to the driver to pay him without knowing anything in advance! Afterwards the Rav told the driver to take the person together with one of the Rav’s grandchildren who was there to a different hotel and the Rav directed him exactly how to get there and said to him to let them leave their suitcases there and then bring them back. They didn’t have any suitcases besides a small handbag but they knew that if the Rav says to do something you don’t ask questions. They drove to that hotel which is located about 20 k”m from where they were and on the way they passed a few other hotels so they couldn’t understand why the Rav sent them to that particular hotel. When they arrived there and went inside everything started to make sense. There they bumped into two men from the yeshiva and each person was in shock to meet each other in middle of Africa since not one knew that the other was there. When they heard that the Rav had sent them there they were very happy and thanked hashem for the open miracle. This is what one of them told us.”It’s simply a huge miracle.  We arrived in Zimbabwe on Thursday afternoon and we passed by the Rav’s hotel and we didn’t see the Rav so we continued on to the hotel the we reserved in advance which was the cheapest that we could find .When we arrived we saw instead of a hotel a small unkempt guesthouse and a lot of blacks who looked dangerous. The heat was unbearable and we were without an air conditioner. We tried to get organized we were a bit depressed that we landed in such a place and we still didn’t see the Rav and we still didn’t know if we would merit to see the Rav and also what’s going to be for shabbos. As where sitting all of a sudden two people from yeshiva who we know show up from the jungle. I thought I was dreaming they appeared like two angels. In a million years I wouldn’t have imagined that I would meet here people that I know. We didn’t tell anyone that were here and when they told us “the Rav sent us here” it’s immposible to describe how we felt. It was a miracle and really made us happy. It was like receiving regards from the Rav it was like the Rav is telling us I see you and know that you’re here. It’s impposible to explain it otherwise. We saw that the Rav is guarding us and taking care of us”. The Rav once said in Morroco ” the second a person thinks about me immeadetaley I think about him”. That is what those two people saw with there eyes. Then they left  off there small handbag like the Rav said and the other two who stayed in the hotel felt ’were not alon the rav is with us’. when they returned to the rav’s hotel the taxi driver was very overwhelmed from the big miracles that He saw and wanted to return the money to the Rav. He said your a big tzaddik and I don’t want to take any money from you it was my pleasure to serve you. The Rav argued with him at the end he took the money Then he went out of the car and hugged the the Rav and asked for a blessing and took a picture with the Rav and said that he wants to stay with the Rav . the Rav blessed him and told him to start keeping shabbos .The two people who were with the Rav were very amazed since the man didn’t look Jewish and he didn’t say that he is Jewish but the Rav probably saw something inside him. The Rav once said in a lecture that a lot of those who live in those areas in Africa are probably Jewish because the ten tribes were exiled to these areas and in the course of generations married only between themselves. You can see it the way they honor Jews since they have a Jewish soul . We wrote preavesly that when the Rav arrived in Africa the black that accepeted them at the airport sang the song “yemin hashem oisa chail”. There is a famous  story about the or hachaim hakadosh that when he took apon himself Galus (exile) and went from place to place he  revealed the ten tribes. The Rav gave the two people a room in the hotel to sleep in and said to one of them to stay with him in his room.
That person related that he davend with the Rav in front of the hotel and a group of zebras gatherd around from the other side of the fence and when he asked the Rav about them the Rav answered they came to complete the minyan .look they already put on their tallis (zebras have black and white stripes like a tallis). When they finished davenning the zebras disappeared in to the jungle. By each prayer with the Rav  that’s what happened. It’s brought down often in “shivchei hariza’l” that reincarnated souls in animals that need a rectifation come to the “tzadik hador ” and even tzadikim that are missing a small rectification  request in heaven to return to this world even as an animal to receive a tikun through the big tzadik. In one of the recent lectures the Rav said that whoever comes to the tzadik becomes clean and pure and even donkeys and camels when they come to the tzadik become pure and clean. A big merit is needed to come to the tzadik even as an animal like it’s told about the Ari”zal that there were souls who waited hundreds of years inside animals until they merited coming to the tzadik to receive a tikkun. The “Yismach Moshe” of Satmer zt”l would praise himself that in a preivios gilgul he was one of the sheep of yackov avinu .he was always with the tzadik. the rav once said that the animals know who is the tzadik hador but human beings need to work hard to kno ‘ that.
One of the avreichim told us that when he got married a couple of years ago he came to the Rav and asked if he should wear on shabbos a black suit or should he wear a Kaftan(a yerushalmi coat) known as a zebra and the Rav answered him to wear the zebra because there will come a time that we will be a lot with zebras.
There is another story about a tzadik of our generation who rectified souls that were inside animals.Rav Aryeh Kaplan z”tl related that he was once at a lecture of Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam z”tl the Tzanz Klausenberg Rebbe in New York and in middle of the lecture a cat wandered in and came near the Admor and stood there like he is listening to the lecture. After a few minutes the Admor turned to the cat and said “now you can go” and immedieataly the cat turned around and left. Rav Kaplan explained that the cat was a gilgul and had to listen to a dvar torah from the mouth of a tzadik and the Admor gave him a tikkun and after receiving the tikkun he told him to leave. His son the present Admor of tzanz in Netanya shlit”a in known that he honors the Rav very much and when the Rav is in netanya  he sends his gabboim to take care of all the Rav’s needs ,to heat up the mikvah for him and to bring whatever he needs. At every weddinig he sends a messenger to invite the Rav and the Rav comes. At the last wedding before the Rav left the country he saw that it would be hard to bring the Rav so he sent his two sons together with one of his son in laws and a prominent person from the community to personaly invite the Rav. When they arrived the Rav gave over a 45 minute shiur .They kept a place for the Rav at the wedding next to the Admor but at the end the Rav didn’t come. At the kenes of Dirshu at Yad Eliyahu the Admor stood up and went over to the Rav and spoke with him for a few minutes. At the kenes at Binyanei H’auma which was right before the Rav left the country everyone saw how the Admor was looking the whole time at the Rav.
We will return now to the jungle. The Rav all the times asks the guards of the hotel to open up the gate that he should be able to go to the jungle to “misboded”. All the efforts of the security personnel ,and the gabboim and family members to convince the Rav not to go or to stay close to the hotel are not successful and the Rav goes very deeply  inside the jungle until he disappears and returns after 3-4 hours like nothing has happened. When the hotel staff see such things every day it influences them and they really respect the Rav and say this is not a human being this is an angel. Lihavdil also Rav Shmuel Shapiro zt”l when he saw the Rav’s great “avoda” on Yom Kipur and the following days he said this in not a human being.
One night the Rav woke up the person who was in his room and told him to come with him to the jungle to misboded but he said to the Rav that he is scared since he is’nt a tzaddik that has a special protection so the Rav said to him “but you’re with me” but even so when he heard the roaring and barking from inside the jungle he wasn’t able to bring himself to go with the Rav. When the Rav took him in the morning to immerse in the lake that’s nearby he was afraid of crocodiles but the Rav said there is nothing to be afraid of. And when the Rav emerged from the lake he saw a hippopatumus emerging to. It’s known that the animal that kills the most people in Africa is the hipopatmus. There was another person who ho said that he saw crocodiles in the lake where the Rav immersed.
From the lecture that the Rav gave over the phone to people in Beitar.
On Motzei Shabbos parshas bo the Rav said there are plenty of lions over here. The taxi driver told them that a couple of days before they arrived he passed by the hotel and saw a whole family of lions. Someone also saw the Rav misboded next to a buffalo that a lion tore apart. Many times in the past years the Rav said in his lectures to his students that there is nothing to be afraid of from a lion only to stay calm and not to be frightend  and the lion won’t do anything. He would say “you have to remember this if you will do hisbodedus and a lion will suddentely show up don’t be frightenend if you stay calm and don’t try to run away but rather believe in Hashem and shout Shma Yisrael” he won’t do anything. Everyone thought the Rav was joking around all the time but know we see that we might need that advice. Also in the Nitzotzot magazine (rosh hashana 5774) there is an interview with a breslover who relates who he was chozer b’itshuva .He was on a trip with friends in the African jungle and after walking a couple of meters they met a tiger the tiger came closer to them and made noises that sounded like he is going to devour them and at the last second he screamed Sh’ma Yisrael” and the tiger turned around and ran away.
It’s not the first time. It’s known in the past stories that the Rav met dangerous animals. Ten years ago someone told us that once when he was with the Rav and the Rabanit in the mountains in north New York where there are dangerous bears they had to go through the forest at night to get to the car. The man told them it’s dangerous over here there are bears so the Rabanit said don’t worry when my husband sees a bear he speaks to him and the bear runs away. He didn’t know how to digest such amazing words. Afterwards he told a friend of his who is often with the Rav in New York what the Rabanit said. The friend answered him yes it’s correct I saw it with my own eyes. I went with the Rav there and a bear the size of a person started to come near us. I was petrified and then the Rav went over to the bear and wisperd into his ear something and the bear turned around and wandered off. Refer to siach sarfei kodesh(3-199) the story about R’ Shimon the shamos of rabeinu who met a bear when he was doing hisbodedus and he killed the bear with a knife. The breslovers would say that if he hadn’t gone with a knife he would have succeeded in defeating the bear with his bare hands and also would have been saved from the arabs who attacked him.
We received a recording that the Rav spoke to the public in Morroco before the chuppa of his grandson. The Rav spoke about the gemara in bava metzia (p.106) were the gemara talks about a shepherd whose guarding somones  sheep and a wolf came and tore them so he is not liable and we don’t say if he was there he could have fought with them. the Rav said  for example if the shepherd went to a wedding while he was guarding and left the sheep alone and meanwhile the sheep were killed so the shepherd says to him sir what do you want from me ? Can I fight with tigers or can I fight with lions? So the owner answers him yes I am breslov and I do an hour hisbodedus every day and I daven that my shepherds will be able to fight with lions that’s part of my hisbodedus that if lions will come- here in Morroco  wer’e next to the sahra desert and there are many lions- if suddenly  a lion will come from the desert my shepherds will be strong and will fight with them . Tosfos  says that a person can fight with a lion .But the shepherd wasn’t breslov so he made fun of his owner and says to him if you’re such a “ba’al tefila” you’re such a breslover you believe in Reb Nachman and you daven every day in your hisbodedus that your shepherds will be able to fight with lions so why couldn’t you already daven that you’re sheep and goats should be like the sheep of R’ Chanina ben Dosa that the sheep and goats themselves fought with the lions and bears(the Rav then told the story of R’ Chanina ben Dosa)so the owner answers him to be like R’ Chanina ben Dosa I can’t be but like Dovid hamelech I can be because in every generation there are tzadikim that are “pi shnayim”(twice as much) in every generation the tzadikim multiply themselves since the later they are more tzadikim can be “misaber” in them. All of the tzadikim –Avrohom Yitzchak Yackov Dovid and R’ Chanina ben Dosa are “misaber” in them. Therefore whoever merits to come close to Rabeinu Ha’kodosh” and by Rabeinu Ha’kodosh everything is “pi shnayim” every motion that you do and every learning that you learn is pi shnayim in depth.
It’s known the story about the “Or Hachaim Ha’kodosh” that he was lowered into a pit with lions and he wasn’t scared and he wasn’t injured at all and when the king asked him how it is possible he explained that the lions don’t have any power against a person who didn’t sin any time in his life. Therefore it’s not a wonder that the Rav doesn’t either fear from lions and is misboded every day with lions without fear because every tzadik receives strength pi shnayim from the preivious tzaddik(it’s not an insult to the previous tzaddikim since just the opposite it shows there awesome power that they multiply themselves every time from anew through coming down again in the later tzadikim). The wonder is that the tzaddik demands from all of his students to belive in the power of his tefillos they can also defeat lions. It’s brought down in “Siach Sarfei Kodesh” that Rabeinu once said as if he is complaining “even so that you’re rightious people but this was not what I meant I meant that I would have such people that would scream to hashem whole nights like animals in the forest”. It’s brought down there that years after Rabeinu died “mohoranat” (R’ Noson) said I do have such students ovdei hashem that Rabeinu didn’t have because R’ Noson had students ovdei hashem that would spend the whole night outside the city screaming to hashem like lions like Rabeinu wanted. We see from here the issue of pi shnayim that “mohoranat gave his students the power of Rabeinu even more then Rabeinu himself and that’s how it is in every generation the students multiply there rabbis power twice as much and draw it to there students. The Rav said to a few people to read the book “Doniel in the lions pit” as a “segula” to be healed from difficult sickneses because the belief itself that a person believes that there is such a tzaddik who can sit in middle of a pit with lions without being injured gives a person the power to reach his supernal powers and to see miracles.
The Rav spoke a lot about Dovid Hamelech and about singing and praising and the Rav himself sings the whole time over there. People related that when the Rav was brought to the Victoria falls he sang the whole way “yedid nefesh” and when they arrived he sat with his family and sang with them a few hours. It was really a taste of “gan eden” the Rav said Dovid Hamelech the more he was atagonized the more he sang. He was comepeletly transformed to being a song to hashem. A person must have a merit to see the song in everything in the whole creation this was the power of Dovid Hamelech that he composed  “sefer tehilim” which is comepletly songs to hashem and this is the power of Moshiach  ben Dovid to transform everything to songs and praise. It’s brought in the story of the “Ba’al Tefilla(Sipurei Ma’asiyos 12) that  all of his time would be spent with singing and praising hashem and with that he fixed the whole world. In Likutei Mohoran torah 64 it’s brought that with the tzadiks melody he elevates all of the heretics from from the “chalal hapanoi”(vacated space) and fixes “tzimzom habreya”(contraction) and shows that even in the “chalal haponoi”(vacated space) there is hashem and that is “tikun haolam”(the rectifation of the world) .The rebbe also says as yet the world has not tasted me. If they were to hear just one of my lessons  together with its proper melody and dance they would pass into a state of total surrender. I mean the whole world. Everything which exists would be nullified even animals and plants would become nullified .There very souls would expire with tremendous yearning from the overwhelming delight that they would have.
We brought in the previous letters that when the Rav  was still in Morroco what chaza”l say about who dwells with you in your poverty that the chocma is to be with the tzaddik when he humiliated and abused in the eyes of people. Now that the Rav took apon himself exile from Moroco the verse shines to us even more so since the words Mi Gar Itcha Ba’aniyoscha is roshei teivos Eliezer Berland Garush Morroco( Eliezer berland is exiled from Morroco).
Part of a lesson given over on 23 teves 5774
If a person merits to see hashem face to face like Doniel saw hashem face to face(after he was thrown in to a pit with lions the king sealed the pit with a huge stone )so the king said I know the you won’t be defeated but I am afraid that maybe a man will come and shoot an arrow into you. So R’ Noson asks what is the difference? If he knows that he will defeat lions then why shouldn’t he be able to defeat an arrow? R’ Noson says in hilchos mila 5 that there is a tremendous difference between an arrow and a lion. Lions don’t have “bechira”(choice) so a person can defeat them but a human being has bechira so he needs a very big “zchus”. So R’ Noson asks why does he need a big “zchus” if he is such a tzaddik that he can defeat lions so let him be such a tzaddik and defeat a human being that has bechira what is the difference? So king Daryavesh prayed he knows. how to pray he was a breslover he would go out to the fields and scream to hashem. So a huge rock came and Rashi asks were did it come from? There are no rocks in bavel (baboloyn) bavel is only dust .when the Americans came the tanks sank in the dust so Rashi says the rock came from Eretz Yisrael it flow in the air it weighed the amount of a thousand people but the question is remains a question. If he is not scared of lions then why is he scared of a Ba’al Bechira”? So R’ Noson explains an awesome answer that a person facing a lion he is walking in the forest or in the jungle and sees a lion he screams “Shma Yisrael but when he sees a human being he gets mixed up from the lion he doesn’t get mixed up. A person has to know that even if he sees a lion he went to do hisbodedus scream Shma Yisrael- just stand don’t run away. If you will run away he will run after you .stand face to face and you will see him run away . He will be scared from your Shma Yisrael .There are 1464 lions and all of them are licking his feet. It says in chapter 8 put it under the feet …and the animals” it’s talking about the lions that licked the feet of Doniel . he also rode apon them the whole night he had 1464 lions so he played with them and rode apon them and galloped with them it was a stadium not a simple lion den. So the tzaddik is not afraid of anything in the world there is nothing else but hashem. The tzaddik who is like Moshe Rabeinu since every tzaddik of the generation is like Moshe Rabeinu and just like Moshe Rabeinu was’nt afraid of the sword and his neck turned to marble –R’ Noson says in hilchos milah 5 that it’s not a story that happened 3300 years ago it’s a story that every person can do –that someone will come to cut his throat and it will turn to marble. Everyone in the Emeuna and dosen’t get mixed up his neck will turn to marble. A person can reach such a level.
To all of our readers!
We nead your help: the more contributions that We get the more can We distribute the letter and there will be a great Kiddush Hashem. The letter is printed weekly in 10000 .We reached Eilat Elad Ashdod Beer Sheva Beit Shemesh Beitar Bnei B Rak Bat Yam Chadera Cholon Haifa Tibereas Yerucham Yerushalayim Kfar Saba Karmiel MOshav Ben Zakai Nahariya Afula Pardes Katz Petach Tikva Tzfat Kiryat Ono Rosh Ha’ayin Rishon Litzion Rechovot Rechasim Ramat Gan Tel Aviv and Tekoa .We can’t do it without you!
It’s brought down in Sefer Hamidos(tzaddik 69)”whoever loves the tzaddik has to make sure that he shouldn’t have a bad name” “whoever hears a talmid chochom being insulted and dosen’t oppose will give judgement “.This journal saves lives! We are receiveng storys every day from simple  jews that whore mixed up from all the terrible words and when they read the letter they were revived. Also a lot of people who weren’t mixed up but did not know the Rav are very strengtend from the letter and it gives them light and strength in Avodas Hashem. Rabeinu says “know that by telling storys of tzaddikim meaning what happened to them it is a very big thing and by that the mind is pured and he is saved from disasters.(likutei Moharan 234)by telling storys of tzaddikim the heart is awakend and inspired with an inspiration to Hashem yisborach(ibid 248)By telling storys of tzadikkim the light of Moshiach is brought to the world and pushes off darknes and disaster from the world. A woman from Tel Aviv who is still not frum told that she never reads any torah letters but this letter she must receive and distribute to her friends because it brings light and hollienes to whoever reads it. A Chossid from a famous Chasiddus said that this letter is machzir betshuva also the frum people. Teenagers from all types of Yeshivot say that there all waiting the whole week for the knishta chada to arrive.This letter arrives also to the Gdolei Hador .everyone is hungry everyone is thirsty! About these days is written “Behold! Days are coming and I will send a hunger in the land not hungry for bread and not thirsty for water only to hear the words of Hashem”(amos 8 ). R’ Noson wrote in his will that the main charity should be in helping distribute the mind of the tzaddik in the world until your springs will spread and through that we will merit the pasuk “and they will search hashem and their king Dovid” and We will merit to be with together with the Rav in Yerushalayim with the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash
contact the tzaddik Rabbi Berland for a blessing
rav berland tzaddik whatsapp group


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.