Every week, people from all over Israel come to listen to words of chizuk by the chaburah at Netzach Netzachim in Jerusalem. Every week a different guest arrives with new stories never heard before. The stories are about our teacher Rabbi Eliezer Berland shlit”a, each time introducing the listeners to a new angle on the Tzaddik.
In this meeting that we are bringing before you in a video below, Rav Avraham Edri came to relate a chilling story which he witnessed with his own eyes. With trembling and fear he shared with the public the sight which he saw, how the Tzaddik Rav Berland shlit”a brought down a soul from the Upper World, literally before the eyes of all those who were present.
The story happened around ten years ago. We’re talking about a family of a father with three children, whose mother, Chana bas Yehudis z”l, passed away, and the Rav brought down her soul right in front of them.
The name of the father was Ron Barkai, a secular Jew, an F-16 pilot in the Reserves, and a senior teacher of mathematics in Central Israel, who since has passed away, may his rest be in Eden. A smart, modest, and simple man, whose wife, at the age of 40, fell ill with cancer, which began to become life-threatening. He loved our Rebbe Rav Berland and believed in him. He heard of Rav Berland from one of the women of the community who referred him to me. They told him to bring a Pidyon.
Rav Berland said to Ron Barkai: Your wife will be healed, she will be well, but don’t move from her, don’t leave her side for a second!! Ron was by his wife for a week, but after a week he felt that he had to revitalize himself. He only intended to take a short trip to his house in Rishon LeZion, but already when he reached the area of Telz-stone, they called him and told him that he should come back, because her situation is grave.
Ron continued driving home, and when he returned to the hospital, they revealed to him that his wife was no longer among the living. Straight away he called me and said, “Rav Avraham, the Rav promised!”
I didn’t know everything that happened, but I asked him, “Perhaps you went against your side of the deal?”
“I went home!” he answered.
I answered, “Forgive me, but the Rav said to you not to move from her. You need to be on watch.”
He continued, “But I didn’t think it would be a problem; I had to go.”
I said to him, “We have here somewhat of an abandoning of the sick.” I called the Rav by way of his assistant, and the Rav said to bury her and after the Shiva (7 days of mourning) to come to him. On 7 Adar, the Shiva concluded and we came to Rav Berland.
Our Rebbe Rav Berland came out to greet us crowned in tallis and tefillin and blessed us “Shalom Aleichem.” The smallest child, their 4-year-old son, began to cry that he longs for Ima (Mother). Also for the middle child, their 9-year-old son, it was difficult.
The Rav asked the small child, “Do you want me to bring you Ima?” “Yes, I want Ima!” “Very well, I’ll bring you Ima! In a moment, Ima will come, and I’ll bring to you Ima!”
The Rav sat in the middle of the table, on his right, the father, and next to them the children in order: the oldest, the middle, and smallest child.
The Rav spread out his tallis and all of them joined hands. I was standing behind them, I don’t understand anything. I hear the Rav inhale and exhale heavily, like wheezing.
“I’ll bring Ima. Ima, come. And suddenly, he screams — Chana bas Yehudis, Chana bas Yehudis. Keep a distance, keep a distance, no one touch her, she is pure, she is white. She is holy, don’t touch. Chana bas Yehudis.” The Rav exhales heavily and wheezes.
I touched the back of the husband and felt that everything was [hard] like stone. Over the course of no less than twenty minutes, the Rav breathes heavily and wheezes. It’s known that when the prophet prophesizes, [his entire body] convulses.
In the midst that the Rav is like this, Naftali Biton, the assistant, opens the door, screams “Wow” and closes the door, flees and disappears. It looked to me like someone else opened the door, but no one entered.
Every moment the Rav screams, “Chana bas Yehudis, don’t touch her, white, unblemished, pure, innocent, white, pure.” The Rav screams in stages, every time the same scream.
Suddenly the children scream — “Ima!” in a great shout. The Rav screams to the father — “You don’t touch, you don’t come near. One kiss to every one, one kiss,” and the children scream — “Ima!”
The father shouts, “Chana,” and the Rav shouts to him — “You don’t come near, don’t touch, you don’t touch.” The Rav repeats, “One kiss to every one.” Suddenly, the Rav falls — falls from the seat, lying on the floor, and cries out — “The eyes, my eyes are burning me.” The Rav screams, and Naftali enters with water and places it for him.
The Rav remains on the floor, and they are sitting without moving. Ten minutes until the Rav sit downs and then says to me, ‘Avraham, I’m sending you with her to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Take them, she will be with you, and from there she will go back [to her place].
Our teacher Rav Berland continued, saying, “The entire way is open. I opened for you the entire way.” The Rav added, “Come to me after Bedikas Chametz” (14 Nissan, another month and a week later). We descend the stairs of the building and the father grabs me and says, “Rabbi Avraham, I’m a regular person, secular, I’m not crazy, I don’t hallucinate — I saw her. She stood in front of me. I saw her.” The children said, “Aba, she kissed me.”
The father continued, asking me, “What did the Rav say? Who is Rabbi Shimon? Does he receive us at any hour? Should we bring him something” I told him about Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, he lived 2000 years ago and he’s buried in Meron. He asked me “Where’s Meron?”. I told him just follow we must do everything that the Rav said. Throughout the entire way to Meron it was pouring rain, and Meron was entirely closed down, because 7 Adar is the Hilulah of Moshe Rabbeinu and everyone comes to Meron. The entire way, there were buses and shuttles along with iron road blocks. People are walking by foot, but when I come with my private car, they lift for me the road block. I stopped before the gas station, because I saw a road block to Meron. Everyone in the car was sleeping. I went out to the policeman who said that he only acts according to the regulations.
I returned to the car and the father said to me, “Rabbi Avraham, I’m not imagining. My wife is sitting with me here the entire way.” The children woke up and screamed, “Aba, Aba — Ima is sitting with us in the back.”
I didn’t manage to answer when the policeman opened the iron roadblock for us. With an absolute miracle, we succeeded in reaching the entrance to the grave of Rabbi Shimon with the car. Like the Rav said, “I opened the way for you.”
To participate in the holy chaburah (in Hebrew) — Thursday. The gates open at 7 pm (Rehov Hachnasat Orchim 2).
Watch the video of Rav Avraham Edri himself saying the story: