Rav Berland’s first Seder in Israel for more than four years

Rav Berland in the Hadassah Hospital Hotel before Seder night 5777
Rav Berland with his gabbay, shortly before Seder night, 5777


Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, hasn’t celebrated a Pesach seder with his family in Eretz Yisrael for over four years. Last year, Pesach was particularly challenging, as the Rav spent Seder night behind bars in the infamous ‘Sun City’ prison in South Africa, and it was only with great difficulty that he was able to receive any kosher for Pesach food.

So this year, it gives us great pleasure to share an excerpt of an interview with one of Rav Berland’s grandsons, describing the Rav’s first Pesach Seder in Israel with his family, for many years.

(You can hear the full interview for yourself in Hebrew, by clicking HERE.)

This year, Rav Berland’s Pesach Seder took place in the hotel adjacent to the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem, where the Rav is recuperating after his many recent surgeries. On Seder night, the Rav, shlita, was joined by around 12 family members, who came to celebrate the holiday with him, for what proved to be a tremendously emotional, and uplifting occasion.

“What can I tell you?” begins Rav Berland’s grandson, one of the 12 guests at the Seder, speaking in an exclusive interview on Shuvu Banim’s information hotline.

“It was really wonderful, and a very moving occasion.

“This Seder night was very similar to the one that I attended with the Rav, shlita, more than four years’ ago, [his last Seder] in Eretz Yisrael. I almost didn’t see any differences between them. Yes, we could see that the Rav was still suffering from pain throughout the Seder, but apart from that, Moranu Rav Berland, shlita, continued to serve Hashem as normal, with great strength and tenacity.”

Rav Berland’s grandson continued: “ The doctors told the Rav, shlita, that it was absolutely forbidden for him to eat matza, under any circumstances. But Moran Rav Berland, shlita, still ate them with great mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice). I remember that in previous years, the Rav pretty much only used to eat matza, and didn’t really touch any other types of food. And this year, he also didn’t cancel the mitzvah [of eating matza at the Seder]. It seems that throughout the rest of the holiday, Moranu Rav Berland will be unable to eat more matza, but for Seder night itself, he simply sacrificed himself to perform this important mitzvah.”

“Moranu Rav Berland, shlita, participated in the Seder from 9pm until around 3.30am, and throughout this whole time the Rav was sharing new chiddushim (novel Torah insights) about the Haggadah. For example, someone asked the Rav about the recital of ‘Dayenu’, what would have happened if Hashem had split the sea for us, but if we hadn’t actually passed through it?

“Moranu Rav Berland answered:

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‘For every single miracle that is done for a person, he is obliged to say ‘thank you’ for it for the rest of his life.

One time, a person sees a miracle, even if he doesn’t gain anything from the outcome, so to speak, the very fact that Hashem revealed Himself to him, just for that he needs to show gratitude for the rest of his life.’”

You can hear the full interview for yourself in Hebrew by calling the information line on:

+44-203-807-333 – From the UK and Europe

+1-845-640-0007 – From the USA

02-800-8800 – From Israel

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