The first request of Rav Berland

Rav Berland's first request after returning home
Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, speaking to his followers after returning to his Jerusalem home


Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, has been absent from his home in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Morasha for more than five and a half years. During that time, the Rav endured an enormously difficult exile, in order to sweeten the harsh judgments that were looming over the Jewish people.

He would travel from one continent to the next, from one country to another, and also within a country, he would constantly move from house to house, from one temporary dwelling to another.

Throughout this time, Rav Berland, shlita, never uttered even a single word of complaint, quite the opposite. He continually radiated emuna, and gave out words of comfort and chizzuk (strengthening) to those who accompanied him throughout his ordeal.

One might think that now that this very difficult period of time is drawing to a close, and now that the Rav has finally returned to his home in Jerusalem again, perhaps the Rav would give some thought to bringing his persecutors and slanderers to justice.

That’s certainly what a ‘normal’ person might do. But Rav Berland, shlita, is not a ‘normal’ person. Immediately upon his return to Jerusalem, the Rav issued a statement that sheds some awesome light on who the Rav really is, how boundless his love is for his fellow Jew, and how completely he’s nullified himself to Hashem’s will.

This is what Rav Berland, shlita, said to his students in a phone message upon entering his home:

“No-one is allowed to harm any of the complainants. No-one is allowed to make a sour face at them. We need to help them financially, and give them monetary assistance. [We need] to lift them up higher and higher, and to give them every honor and every form of help.

“If you meet them in the streets, only smile at them and shake their hand [cordially]. Carry them on your shoulders, as it’s written: “they will bring your children and carry them on their shoulders”, and you should give them a round of applause.”

Rav Berland continued: “Dance with them in the street, and accord them all the honor they so richly deserve, because everything is in their merit. Everything that we managed to achieve, [like] giving three hour shiurim (Torah class) on the Ketzot HaChoshen, and all the prayers, and praying the mincha-maariv prayers for four hours every evening, everything is in their merit.

“Just strengthen them, and encourage them, and give them all the honor and respect in the world. Also, help them financially, if you see that they are lacking something, give them some money. Give them money for their gatherings[1], encourage them, motivate them to hold more gatherings, and more gatherings – because all of these are big ship fulls of diamonds. As it’s written, in the time to come, a single grape will fill an entire ship, and baruch Hashem, they are filling so many ships full with diamonds for us.

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“All of Shuvu Banim’s success is in their merit. All of the success that we had in Holland, in Midrand, in Johannesburg… [here, the Rav also mentioned other cities outside of Israel] – everything is in their merit. Just encourage them, and strengthen them, and Shuvu Banim will completely transform the face of the country – [but only on condition that we] commit ourselves to learning four hours of Ketzot HaChoshen every day, and four hours of Likutey Moharan, and eight hours of Gemara. For he who strives to be a Torah scholar is capable of accomplishing more.”

You can hear the Rav’s words for yourself (in the original Hebrew) by playing the following audio clip:


[1] In recent months, the people within the Breslov community who were behind the slander and persecution of Rav Berland have held a number of public gatherings against him.

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