“I said, ‘This Purim I have to reveal who is the Tzaddik!!!’”
Sixty years of the light of our eyes, our Rebbe, Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a’s connection to the Light of Lights, Rabbeinu HaKadosh, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov zya”a – 14 Adar Bet 5222 – 14 Adar Bet 5782
Our Rebbe Rav Berland shlit”a tells the story of his drawing close to Breslov sixty years ago, in a shiur which was given to residents of Ramat Gan.
“Then I went to Vizhnitz, because they said that there is an event there in honor of Purim, but the bus came from Lelov; beforehand, I walked to Lelov. I said, ‘This Purim, I have to reveal who is the Tzaddik!’ This was already 22, Purim 22. So in the merit of this, she became pregnant [the Rabbanit], because the doctor said that I won’t have sons; the doctor promised me…
“I walked to Lelov, and from Lelov we travelled to Vizhnitz. And then we came to Lelov. Several in the group hadn’t read the Megilah, so they read the Megilah. This was at eleven at night; they read the Megilah. They were totally drunk, and made fun in the middle of the reading of the Megilah. I said, if they are making fun, then here isn’t the truth. Then I got on the bus again. I needed to walk from south Tel Aviv, this was [Rechov] Shmuel Mohilever 35. We needed to walk all south Tel Aviv until the Egged station, the last bus to Bnei Brak at twelve at night, [line] 54.
“We arrived at the corner of Chazon…Rabbi Akiva. Afterwards, we walked all Chazon Ish Street, and passed by way of Nechemiya, Nechemiya Street, and Nechemiya, corner of Breslov – there is the yeshiva of Breslov. I never entered there in my life. Suddenly, I was already exhausted. I enter a moment to rest. I thought that I would find drunks. I find…there’s no drunks…nothing. Where’s the drunks? Mashash I had such grief… I searched for drunks. I went into all the rooms. There were absolutely no drunks. The rooms were empty, not one drunk. I said, ‘Maybe they’re hiding underneath the beds. Maybe there’s some kind of bunker. Maybe they’re afraid of the Nazis, from Putin.’ I don’t know…I went…No drunks!
“Suddenly, Rav Nachman Rosenthal comes to me. I ask where are all the drunks. What, it’s not Purim by you? He said, ‘No, everyone is in the field. Now, they’re screaming to Hashem, “Save me from the klipah [husk] of Haman-Amalek.”’ I said, ‘That’s it! The truth is here! If there’s such a thing in the world, then Hashem revealed to me the truth. Already I don’t need to go to Vizhnitz.’ I stayed there. I wanted to stay there also for vatikin (prayer at sunrise), but I had been awake all night. Then this was Purim on Tuesday, and on Friday I went to Chazon Ish Street. You told me to come to vatikin, you told me to come. I said, now I’m coming. He didn’t believe me. He didn’t believe me that now I’m coming. Now I’m entering the mikveh, and I’m coming. It was already three in the afternoon – this is Purim. Sunset is only at 5:30. Then we came, prayed there Kabbalat Shabbat. Suddenly there was… and Natan Libermensch. He didn’t use electricity. He only used kerosene lamps.”
Rav Yitzchaz Weitzhandler: “A portable kerosene lamp.”
Rav Berland: “Yes, these were such kerosene lamps. Suddenly, the lamp was lit, and everyone fled. Because the entire room went up in flames. I remained, because nothing makes a difference to me. Perhaps fire descended from heaven, I said. I don’t know… I don’t know from where this fire is coming. Until we went to bring a Shabbos goy and everything, it was already fifteen minutes. Everything, the holy ark almost went in flames — by miracles… Then I said that this is like a revelation of G-dliness. This is, ‘The bush burned with a flame, but wasn’t consumed.’ And from then on, that was it, I started to go there to pray. So everything is in the merit of Rav Nachman Rosenthal. He merited that one son, Yechezkel…He has seven sons and a daughter. He has another son – eight sons. Another son, he has nine…. After seven sons, he merited to a daughter, like the Rebbe says in Sippurey Maasiot, that there are seven sons, and afterwards a daughter.”