What Tzaddik pays money to the people who are persecuting him?

Rav Mordechai Safrin shlit"a shares a personal story about how Rabbi Berland pays money to his biggest enemies.

Rav Mordechai Safrin

There are some Tzaddikim who have reached a spiritual level of not striking back at their persecutors.

But who has seen a Tzaddik who pays large sums of money to his biggest persecutors in order for them to persecute him more?

The Tzaddik Rav Mordechai Safrin shlit”a in extraordinary testimony on Rabbi Eliezer Berland shlit”a

“[A person] needs to know how to act with their antagonists, exactly as Rav Berland says: to do for them all the kindnesses, to not argue in return, not to cause them anguish.

“My son was in Holland.  He needed salvation, salvation from Rav Berland.  Rav Berland said to him [to give] a Pidyon of 5,000.  My son asked where to transfer the pidyon?

“Rav Berland told him to give the pidyon to one of his two biggest opponents, in these words — ‘Go, take this for him to his home.’

“Rav Berland didn’t take the money for himself.  He said to him, ‘Go, bring this to him at his home.’

“My son went to the house of one of the Rav’s biggest detractors.  The detractor’s wife opened the door, and my son said, ‘The Rav sent this with me.’  She took it and closed the door.

“She wasn’t surprised at all — he was just one in a thousand.  All the time, people come and give them thousands of shekels!

“I don’t know what’s with giving one’s antagonists money, but there is a lesson in Likutey Moharan 277,” Rav Safrin answers a questioner, meanwhile turning to relate an incident which testifies to behavior that was already found by Rav Berland decades ago.

“There was an incident with Rav Berland, an old incident from 40 to 45 years ago.  The Rav brought close a Jew from Pardes Hanna from a crime family.  He started to do teshuva, but his family was a crime family.  They told Rav Berland: What are you doing?  You took from us a soldier.

“They decided to teach Rav Berland a lesson.  They knew that he went to fields to do hisbodedus.  In Givat Shmuel there were orchards and Rav Berland would go out there to do hisbodedus.  Some gangsters waited for him there, and when he went out to do hisbodedus, they grabbed him and beat him up thoroughly.

“Rav Berland fell, lying on the ground.  When they began to leave, he pulled out a 100 lira bill and gave it to them, saying, ‘Come again tomorrow and I’ll give you more.’

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“The messengers returned to their senders and said to them: A man like this you send us to beat up?  Have you gone crazy?!

“Two of them did teshuva!  Certainly!  This kind of behavior isn’t common.

“They asked Rav Sheinfeld, the student of the Chalban, regarding this behavior of Rav Berland, that he says to do kindnesses for all the antagonists.  [Rav Sheinfeld] said: this is the avodah (work) of Rav Berland; you shouldn’t do for them kindnesses!  You shouldn’t come near them and don’t talk to them.  You don’t need to speak evil, don’t need to fight them.  But to do for them kindnesses, Rav Berland will do this.

“Rebbe Nachman says in Likutey Moharan 277: ‘Know, [if] there is a controversy on a person, don’t stand oneself up against one’s enemies, saying: just as he does to me, so will I do against him.  This, Rebbe Nachman says to each person, don’t say.  ‘He does me such and such, I will do to him likewise, because this causes the enemy to reach his goal.  This causes him to succeed in seeing in him what he wants to see in him. Rather a person should judge his antagonizes favorably and do for him all kinds of kindness…’

Do you hear what he says? ‘Do for him all kinds of kindness’.

“This is what’s written in Likutey Moharan, so Rav Berland does it.”

See Rav Safrin (in Hebrew) below:


you might also be interested in:

Rav Berland’s message to Shuvu Banim: Don’t fight back!

Rav Berland: “Don’t respond to the people who are against us! Every word is a diamond.”


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