“Rav Binyamin Zev Heshin, zt”l, told me that a neshama like the Gaon and the Tzaddik, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, only comes down to the world once in many hundreds of years.”
Rav Binyamin Zev Heshin said: “Oh, Rav Berland! A soul like his hasn’t been in the world already for hundreds of years. In our generation, there aren’t other souls like this.”
“My name is Yuval, and I first met Rav Berland, shlita, when I was still a young man. At that time, around 40 years’ ago, I was very close to Rav Binyamin Zev Heshin, zt”l and I used to meet with him every day. Rav Zev Heshin had a beit Knesset (synagogue) where he used to sit, and I used to bring different people to meet him, so that he would give them some chizzuk (spiritual strengthening.)
“Rav Binyamin Heshin had ruach hakodesh, and I saw this myself with my own eyes, the way he would know things about you before you said anything to him. Around this period of time, someone told me about the gaon and the Tzaddik, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, and I went to hear one of his shiurim (Torah classes) and I was blown away by it.
“From then, I travelled over to Bnei Brak [to hear the Rav’s shiur] on many occasions, and I also had the privilege of travelling with him from Bnei Brak to Jerusalem, too.
“One day, after I’d had the privilege of hearing Rav Berland, shlita, speak, and also had the privilege of speaking with him, I met Rav Binyamin Heshin, zt”l, and I told him everything I’d heard during Rav Berland’s shiur.I
“Rav Binyamin Zev Heshin replied:
‘Oh, Rav Berland! There hasn’t been a neshama like his for many hundreds’ of years already. A neshama like Rav Berland’s comes down to the world only every few hundred years. In our generation, there aren’t other souls like this.’
“Rav Heshin then continued: ‘Yes, he [still referring to Rav Berland] has tremendous abilities, supernatural abilities. There’s no-one else like him.’
This is what Rav Heshin, zt”l, told me. I saw that he was very satisfied when I told him that I’d become close to Rav Berland, shlita.
“Rav Berland was so spiritual, he really didn’t have any connection to this world. At that time, I drew close to a number of other Tzaddikim, too, like Rav Tzion Bracha, zt”l, Rav Mordechai Sharabi, zt”l, Rav Raphael Leon, zt”l and Rav Zissman. Even so,
There was no-one else quite like Rav Berland, shlita, who had absolutely no connection to this world, and who had absolutely no affinity for anything materialistic (gashmiut). I felt that he was really someone very, holy, I can’t really put it into words.
“Even then, Rav Berland, shlita, had tremendous kedusha (holiness), and he was always on fire for Hashem. I would go around with him, and he often wasn’t really ‘there’ in this world. For example, I would ask him for some money on behalf of some of the yeshiva students, and he’d pull out a bunch of bills, without even really paying attention to what he was doing – he was completely ‘above’ the material world.
“I used to observe him, and I understood that he’d simply erased all trace of his ego. He was really ‘as nothing’. Rav Berland was full of the light of Hashem Yitborach.”
Listen to the recording in Hebrew here