The following amazing account comes from Rav Ofek Cohen Zada:
“My friends, we have no idea who Rav Eliezer Berland actually is. He’s a Tzaddik of an astoundingly-great order. He’s an angel of Hashem,” begins Rav Ofek.
“The reknowned mekubal from Tiberius, Rav Dov Kook, told us that Rav Berland is an aspect of Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol, and that he’s an awesome, hidden Tzaddik. Also, the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, ztzl, loved Rav Berland very much, particularly because he’d merited to bring so many people closer to Hashem, and he said that Rav Berland was fitting to be the head of the government.
“Who knows what Rav Ovadia, who’s every last word was said in holiness, saw, when he spoke about Rav Berland in this way?”
Rav Cohen continues: “I’m not connected to Shuvu Banim [Rav Berland’s yeshiva], but when I heard Rav Kook recount the following story, I knew it had to be shared with Am Yisrael. Rav Kook gave this story during seuda shlishit [the third Sabbath meal]. He recounted that he had been sitting in the upper worlds, together with Rav Berland, and also the Baba Elazar ztzl, before he was murdered.
“These Tzaddikim asked Hashem to have mercy on His children, but Hashem Yitborach explained that the middat ha din [attribute of harsh judgment] was prosecuting Am Yisrael in Shemayim, and that there were currently some very difficult decrees on Am Yisrael. Hashem explained that the middat ha din couldn’t be quietened or relaxed any other way, except via mesirut Nefesh [self-sacrifice].
“Hashem told the Tzaddikim that: ‘It’s only going to be possible to sweeten the judgments against Am Yisrael if one of you will be murdered, one of you will go into exile, and one of you will take upon himself disgrace.’
“The Baba Elazar agreed to be killed, for the sake of Am Yisrael; Rav Berland agreed to take upon himself a huge, terrible disgrace; and it was left to Rav Kook to go into exile. However, Rav Kook is a Cohen, and he’s responsible for raising Am Yisrael’s prayers up to the Upper Worlds, just as the Kohen HaGadol used to do. Therefore, he was forbidden to leave the city of Tiberius, or Eretz Yisrael.
“So Rav Berland volunteered himself again, and said that he would also take upon himself exile. Today, we can all see with our own eyes the bitter exile that Rav Berland has been going through, and the terrible suffering, shame and slander he’s endured, which is all for the sake of Am Yisrael.
“Remember who we are talking about! He’s a holy Tzaddik and miracle-worker who’s helped so many people! A friend of mine used to take the Rav to the fields to do hitbodedut (personal prayer), and the Rav would stay there for a period of two weeks straight, with only two dates and nuts to keep him going. We’re speaking about a man of unbelievably awesome holiness.
“There’s a reason that Rav Eliezer Berland is so revered and respected by anyone who really knows him, and who can understand a little bit of what we’re speaking about from their own experiences.
“So, we need to do everything that we can for the sake of Rav Eliezer ben Ettia, so that Hashem will send us great salvations and speedily, in our days, we will finally be redeemed.“