Rav Yaacov Moshe Salmanovitch is one of the leaders of the present generation of Breslev chassidim, and in the past he was also the Rebbe of Yom Tov and Lazer Cheshin, two of Rav Berland’s main persecutors. Rav Salmanovitch knows the Cheshin brothers personally, and he made the following statement in an attempt to put an end to their sordid behavior:
“Gevald! Gevald! How can we continue to be silent, when there’s already been so much suffering, and so much spiritual misery, and so much strife and *machloket*, and so much pain? How are you [referring to the persecutors] able to continue to conduct such a cruel war? You have claims to make? You have things to say? Only [pursue your complaints] in a good way! Only act in a merciful way! How are you willing to cause so much pain to the world? Stop now! Stop now! Woe to you, from the day of judgment. If you have cause for complaint, speak to the other person in a peaceful way. [This is] terrible hatred, something that hasn’t been seen since the creation of the world. This is delaying the *geula *(redemption)*!* You want to try to cause our Tzaddikim to stumble even more, with another signature, and another signature? Woe to you, from the day of judgment!
The whole world has been crying already for the last four years over the fact that there is such a terrible hatred in Breslev. Everything was going great, Rabbenu [Rebbe Nachman] was well on the way to conquering the whole world, so the *Baal Devar* [the Satan] suddenly woke up, and started mercilessly creating hatred and schisms. Apparently, you have explanations and justifications, but you can’t explain what’s going on? Things can be explained, and they can be rectified. Aren’t you scared [about what you’ve done], to go after such big Tzaddikim and to cause them to stumble? To go after such big Tzaddikim, and to cause them to hate? You have claims? OK, set out what you have to say, and we’ll explain what’s going on. Things are not as simple as you think, to have gone and caused so much hatred to develop. This is not Rabbenu’s way. It’s not enough that everyone is already carrying around their own pain and suffering, and that no-one feels secure about what’s happening in their own lives. What’s going on here? How can it be that in Breslev, something as painful as this could be happening? Something as evil as this? It’s already been four years of this wickedness, four years of people crying, four years where thousands of people have had their souls trampled. If you want to rectify things, even the most profound things, everything can be done peacefully! Not with wickedness! There’s so much hatred going on here, so much hatred, hatred without end. If each person had love [in their hearts instead], we could have rectified everything. The very first thing that causes the continued exile of Moshiach is this type of ‘Erev Rav’ informing; the very first thing is *baalei machloket *(troublemakers; people who cause strife). Rabbenu could find the good in everyone, except for the *baalei machloket*.” Most of the people reading this aren’t aware of the sheer amount of hatred that the two individuals being referred to have incited against Rav Berland, in order to drag his name into the mud before the eyes of the whole world. Rav Salmanovitch has never expressed himself in such a way before in relation to any other human being. However, due to the enormous gravity of the error his two former students have made, he felt he now had no choice. Rav Salmanovitch continued: “What are these terrible things that are going on? All the people who made trouble for Rav Shecter and involved him in disputes in the past already regretted what they did, and Rav Shecter, who is the holy of holies, stumbled into a machloket in the past because of other people [who told him lies], for which he’s already asked forgiveness. Now, you come again, with another set of signatures, and call in other people, and you want to involve him [in another machloket] again. Shame on you! Nobody knows what is awaiting them now! The Creator of the world is full of mercy, but no one is immune [from Divine judgement]. Have mercy! Gevald! This is the path of Rabbenu?! For this, we came to Rabbenu?! We went through this whole process just in order to cause more *machloket* (disagreements, strife)? There have already been so very many arguments. Another argument?! People have been spilling blood already for four years, people have been bleeding for four years, and it’s still not ending, it’s just becoming more and more terrible. Even more wickedness is being cooked up – and it’s all because of them! Gevald! [Addressing the Cheshin brothers directly:] If you really want to fix things, it’s still possible to rectify the situation in a way that will lead to a great deal of goodness…Instead of letting his lusts succeed [in ruling him], a person needs to work at helping the other person to succeed.” It’s hard to hear Rav Salmanovitch describing just how terribly Rav Berland has been persecuted, while all the while he’s kept silent about what’s really been going on. We still can’t share with you even a fragment of what we ourselves have witnessed over recent years, in terms of how the Rav has continued to comport himself with simple emuna and humility, even in the face of the most terrible persecution. Whatever has been done to him, the Rav has continued to nullify himself entirely to Hashem’s will, and to continue on with the simple faith that everything is being orchestrated from Above. Rav Salmanovitch continued: “Who knows if the final redemption of our people hasn’t been delayed solely because of this terrible *machloket*, that has spread strife and the defamation of God’s name across the whole globe? I’ve heard so much *chillul Hashem *coming from every corner of the world, as a result of this *machloket. *People are saying, even if what happened actually happened (God forbid, as though that could actually have happened) – where is all this terrible, murderous hatred (lit: murder) coming from? They say only in Breslev do you find this sort of murderous hatred! [The Satan] is putting all his strength into creating Erev Rav here, who are committing murder. What kind of sick people try to get Tzaddikim signed up [to their wicked schemes]?…Instead of calling the other party, and enabling them to tell them their side of things, and to point out that maybe there was an error here, or a misunderstanding, and that everything can be explained and rectified… It’s still possible, even now, to rectify the situation, but stop the destruction! Just because they sketched something out for you, you’re destroying everything! Aren’t you scared? Hashem is in *Shemayim *(Heaven) – aren’t you scared? Everyone has an element of trying to do things *le shem Shemayim *(for the sake of Heaven), but how many terrible things have been done here already, that aren’t for the sake of Heaven? “Hashem looks after the person being chased [or persecuted] – even if it’s a Tzaddik who’s persecuting a wicked person! But that’s not even what’s going on here. *Ribonu Shel OIam!* Master of the World! We are the laughingstock of the whole world. Today, Breslev has become the laughingstock of the whole world! If you try to do this again, so you’ll be able to do this again, but you should know that *HaKadosh Baruch Hu* is in the world, and He’s merciful, and He’s only concerned with the eternal good of a person – for people who want to have eternal life. Don’t you hear all the cries? There are literally thousands and thousands of people who are deeply connected to Rav Berland across the whole world, and they are crying out, and their cries have pierced the hearts of the Heavens. Shame on you! Be very afraid! Be afraid! There are people who all their life force [is bound up with Rav Berland], and it’s not a simple matter at all. Who knows what was being prepared for Am Yisrael? The two hundred years of Rebbe Nachman and Rav Natan are already over. What happened here? Regret what you did, make Teshuva, and you’ll be accepted with love. There is no hatred here, even though you did what you did, there is still no hatred [towards you]. Thousands of people have already been torn and broken by this terrible affair.” Rav Berland taught us, his students, that we should only pray and cry out to Hashem, and that we should never resort to force or hatred, because things always need to be rectified at their root. Unfortunately, to our great sorrow, not everyone has acknowledged the depth of the wickedness and the enmity harbored by the Rav’s persecutors, who have resorted to the most base deceptions to spread their evil lies. Also to our great sorrow, far too many people have believed their evil deceptions, which is why we made the decision to start publicizing the many statements that our holy Rabbis and leaders have started to make against the persecutors. Rav Salmanovitch concluded: “Gevald, how could you do such a thing?! Did you learn this from Rabbenu?! What we learn from Rabbenu is only to love [our fellow Jew]! And only to bring them closer! If Hashem will have mercy on us, then you also have mercy! I’m aware of all your complaints, but they are nonsense and vanity. It’s still possible to rectify everything! Nonsense and vanity! You both know very, very well how you can settle matters properly, if you want to. *Ashreichem, *blessed will you be, and blessed will be your lot in life, if you stop now. From now, stop, everyone, stop! Hashem should help us that Moshiach should come and he will conclude matters. There is a lot more that I could say about this, and I could talk all day. This is the first time that I’ve ever done something like this, and you should know that this wasn’t a simple decision, at all. If you stop now, there is still a chance. If you stop now, with all your strength, there is still a chance that the geula will still come!” You can hear Rav Salmanovitch’s statement for yourself in the original Hebrew here:
1) “Who’s really behind the terrible slanders of Rav Berland?” HERE
2) “An open letter from Rav Yehuda Sheinfeld: We’re dealing with a delusional individual here” HERE
3) “How false leaders operate?” HERE
4) “Statement from Rav Chaim Cohen HERE