KABBALIST RABBI GAMLIEL RABINOWITZ SPEAKS OUT: ‘RAV BERLAND IS HUGE!’
Rav Yosef Frank, shlita recently met with the reknowned kabbalist, Rabbi Gamliel Rabinowitz, shlita, in Meron. He describes their conversation in the following words:
“Just now when I was in Meron, I met the Tzaddik and kabbalist, Rabbi Gamliel Rabinowitz, shlita,” he begins. “Anyone who knows Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz knows that he speaks without any preamble, and gets straight to the point. So, as soon as he saw me, he told me: ‘listen to this story!’ and then started telling me the following:
“’When I was still in my younger years, they published pashkivilim (leaflets, or often provocatively-worded posters) about me, where they wrote: ‘Gamliel Rabinowitz: the name of evildoers should rot!’ and they didn’t even use my initials. They also added in that all the American girls come to see me [because as it’s known, Rabbi Gamliel is a very big, well-known kabbalist, and that many people come to him for a bracha], and that Hashem should only have mercy about what was going to happen to me and them as a result.’
“Rav Rabinowitz continued: ‘They even included a phone number that people could call [to learn more], and underlined very strongly that it was completely forbidden to come to my house to participate in any gathering or meeting with me.
“These posters were pasted up in all the stairwells, and in all the synagogues. In reality, at that time I hadn’t yet even started to hold meeting times for the public to come [to ask his advice and come to him for a blessing]. A few people were coming to me here and there – but since those posters went up, people haven’t stopped coming, and coming!’”
Rav Gamliel, shlita then added: “Even so, a person needs to be extremely careful at a time when they ignite a machloket (controversy) against him, even when it’s very hard, a person needs to be extremely careful not to fall into the error of becoming a ‘hater of Israel’ [i.e. someone who hates his Jewish detractors).
“’Yes indeed, this is extremely difficult, but nevertheless, it’s the single most important thing. When they published all those posters about me, I forgave them – even though I was experiencing a lot of difficulties.’”
Rav Frank then explains: “Rabbi Gamliel, shlita, concluded our conversation by telling me:
‘Ashreich! (fortunate are you) that you have such a Rebbe, Rav Berland, shlita. He’s a huge person, he’s a huge individual. And the fact that he has all this opposition only serves to testify about his true greatness. There is no doubt about this! But the ikker (main point) is just to be extremely careful not to turn into a ‘hater of Israel’ (i.e. someone who hates his fellow Jew.)”