Message from Rav Yekutiel Fish days after Rav Eliezer Berland was sent to prison in Johannesburg (the first of many messages like these from Torah leaders).
Address given on the “sod hachashmal” torah line, publicized and translated here with permission.
Greetings motzei first Yom Tov of Pesach 5776. There’s a few things that we anticipated, hoped for, and are still anticipating and hoping that others will say, but because we still haven’t heard others saying them and having no choice, I’ll say them. Thank G-d, we all merited to celebrate the Pesach holiday joyously, everyone in his place and every man on his kingdom. But, we need to know that the heart is bleeding, that one of the tsaddikim of our generation, from the famous Gedolim of Israel for over forty years, was sent and thrown into jail in South Africa to a two by two meter cell already for a few days. We don’t know when he’ll leave there. He’s suffering terrible tribulations that in his age which already touches eighty years, the situation is one of mortal danger and pikuach nefesh and nobody is speaking about it. The heart hurts. After I said a few good words about him, I was amazed from the messages that I got. Everyone already judged him, everybody already knows what he owes and what he did – may Hashem protect and save him.
After I heard the Gaon and Mekubal HaRav Morgenstern, Shlit”a, say that he researched the issue, demanded details and discovered that everything is false, deceit, and a libel, we hear these things from Rebbe David Abuchatzera from Naharia that everything is a framed plot, and also from the big tsaddik Rav Chaim Dovid Shtern, Rav Arush, shlit”a, and more tsaddikim.
People judge based on what they hear yet they know that everything is based on one persons far-fetched claim which is invalid from the start. This guy who claims to have climbed to the third story window and saw what he saw, this whole thing testifies to something very very dubious. I’m not familiar with the details of the matter and it doesn’t interest me, for we have clear halacha. It’s forbidden to accept lashon hara about any Jew and definitely about the tsadik of the generation. It is written that if you saw a tsadik doing an aveira don’t think badly of him because he for sure did tshuva that night – that’s if you saw! All the more so if you merely heard lashon harah and far-fetched baseless claims. Especially about a tsadik like this from the front line of great tsaddikim of this generation… – YET WE REMAIN SILENT. We have to know that this is the sorrow of the Shechina and we have to share in the pain of the tsadik. Say Tehillim for the success of Rav Eliezer Berland ben Ettia, learn for his success, and join in his pain. Know that this is the pain of the Shechina – a person like that who consciously takes upon himself pangs of shame like tzadikim of the generation said about him. But since he takes it upon himself willingly doesn’t mean that we have to agree with it and add flame to the fire. We have to protest.
The Rishon L’tzion, Harav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt’’l, said before his passing that the moshiach was supposed to have come a few years ago, but he would have come with judgment [of death and wars]. He said that the tsaddikim took upon themselves suffering to push off the redemption for a few years in order to sweeten the judgments in its wake. He announced two of them, one of them was Rav Berland, Shlit”a, and the second was Rav Dov Kook, Shlit”a. This is hinted in his name– Berland, meaning “Land of the bear” in Yiddish. We see in these recent years the Iranians threatening us with extreme intimidation, and it’s already been a few years that we’ve been under the threat of nuclear attack. It’s known that the spiritual root the Persian nation suckles from is called “The Bear”, its ministers in Heaven according to the Gemara are called in Hebrew “Doobi-El,” or “God is my Bear”, and according to the Gra, so too is the Russian nation. They are yonek from a tsaddik and without a doubt Rav Berland, Shlit”a , is one of them. We see in the past few years he’s suffering such atrocities, exile, and terrible humiliation. Whoever doesn’t make the connection is ignorant – that there’s a tsaddik who on his own halts the disasters and by himself stops the atomic bombs – like he himself speaks about. Even though nobody hears, it’s possible to see with one’s own eyes that his name is Eliezer, a name of chessed, who helps. Just as he said the night of the Fast of Esther: “Go and make a prayer rally to stop the intifada.” People went and made one, and immediately the intifada stopped. After half a year in which not a day passed without killings. Is it possible to stand blind in front of all this?! Is it possible to be quiet in front of everything they are saying?! Woe to us from judgment day! Woe to us from admonishment!
I’m going back and repeating clear things I heard from the Rav Gumbal, Shlit”a, who is chavruta and very close to Rav Morgenstern, Shlit”a, who researched all the people who came up with complaints. Afterwards, he sat and reviewed the evidence one by one, and saw that everything is false and a tall tale, and according to Torah law there’s no validity, and it’s forbidden to believe any of it. Maran Hagaon Hamekubal HaRav Morgenstern also publicized a letter in which he wrote that even if Rav Berland, Shlit”a, would write a letter and incriminate himself it’s forbidden to believe him, because you have to understand his way of serving G-d, that he takes upon himself disgrace, sufferings, and things not understandable, for the sake Am Yisroel. It’s known that twenty-five years ago he said to his wife that he’s going to establish an institution for twenty-five years, and afterwards he will dismantle everything, and he asked her if she agrees to this. Several years ago he said that a difficult expulsion has been decreed upon him, and indeed amended a prayer that people should pray for him. Also it’s known that he said to those close to him, “In Passover I’ll be in jail.” There’s one avreich that testified before one of the tsaddikim that Rav Berland, Shlit”a, himself gave him a large amount of money for him to publicize immorality and lies about him as if he did them. We see here a big tsadik that takes issues upon himself and nobody really understands what’s happening here. Heaven forbid, we can’t think anything negative of him.
Rav Shalom Arush, Shlit”a, testified that he started doing activities with the Rabbinical Court for the Rav Shlit”a, but then received a message from the Rabbi himself to stop it. And we remember that before his leave into exile the Rav Shlit”a said now he’ll be out for three years in exile then, please G-d, there will be the complete redemption. And we see that things are reaching a point that didn’t exist until now. We are anticipating the beginning of the redemption, to see Hagaon Rav Eliezer Berland healthy, alive and whole here, happy with us in the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days, Amen.