Why Channel 13 is a ‘danger to Israel’s democracy’

Channel 13 and Fake News

On the Monday evening before the small ‘war’ with Gaza erupted last week (November 11, 2019), Channel 13 were scheduled to show an interview with Rabbi Eliezer Berland, that was a balanced attempt to get to the truth of what had really occurred with the infamous ‘pidyon nefesh’ story.

The week before, the Channel 13 journalist came and spent some hours with the Rav, doing what a journalist is meant to do, i.e. speaking to both sides and actually checking the facts, not just airing fake news propaganda to brainwash the audience.

Very shortly before that program was meant to air, Rabbi Berland’s attendants were told that Channel 13 were pulling the piece.

No explanation was given at the time, but after doing some digging around, the attendants discovered that Channel 13 had apparently been paid 150,000 nis by the men who have been persecuting the Rav for years via the media, to pull the interview.

It’s hard to accept, I know, but the mainstream media is full of lies, propaganda and ‘fake news’, and is overwhelmingly corrupt. And even the MSM itself admits that, in its more candid moments.


Two years ago, the Ha’aretz website ran a piece about Avi Nir, the guy who owns Channel 13, with this headline:

This Man is a Danger to Israeli Democracy: A television channel should never accept government funds to produce content that looks independent, but is actually pure propaganda.

The Ha’aretz piece continued:

“In 2014 and the first half of 2015, the franchisee was paid more than 10 million shekels for a campaign that included government content inserted into broadcasts – especially its current affairs programs “Anashim” (“People”) and “Hai Balila” (“Night Life”) and the morning show “Haboker shel Keshet” (“This Morning with Keshet”)….Keshet routinely receives millions of shekels every year from state bodies, in exchange for incorporating messages from the government….

“[I]n recent years Keshet has become a propaganda arm of the government.”

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If Ha’aretz is calling Keshet – who owns Channel 13 – a “propaganda arm of the government”, what does this tell us, about who is really behind the never-ending attacks against Rabbi Berland and the Torah world generally, in the Israeli media?

What does this tell us, about the ‘impartiality’ of the mainstream media, and all the (increasingly obvious….) fake news they keep trying to brainwash us all with?

While you’re pondering that, let me share some more information about the real story behind the latest hatchet job that Channel 13 aired against the Rav. Again, you won’t find this information in the mainstream media, because they aren’t interested in tell you facts.

Why not? Because:

Mainstream media = fake news and brainwashing agenda, NOT real information to enable free choice.


In the recent Pele Elyon Newsletter #15, they carried an interview with Rabbi Asaf Vidra, (based on comments he made in this interview, below, in Hebrew). Rabbi Vidra’s late wife, Shoshie Adel, was suffering from gallbladder cancer.

Gallbladder cancer is probably the worst type of cancer you can get, as only 4% of anyone afflicted with it is still alive 5 years after the diagnosis.

You can’t cure gallbladder cancer, according to natural laws. The best you can usually do is try to operate to cut out the diseased organs – and even that is often very hard to do, because gallbladder cancer often spreads aggressively into other organs that are crucial for the body’s survival, and that can’t be easily removed.

Chemotherapy doesn’t work to ‘cure’ gallbladder cancer. The best prognosis the patient can usually hope for, derech hateva, is to be able to live for another 5 years, and to still be able to function.

That was the terrible reality that the Vidras were dealing with, when Shoshie Adel discovered she had gallbladder cancer.

With that introduction, what follows is a free translation of the piece that appeared in the Pele Elyon Newsletter, #15:


The recent, two-part ‘expose’ broadcast on Channel 13 accused Rabbi Berland of contributing to the death of [Shoshie] Adel, a’h.

The whole program was based on the journalist’s main accusation that Rav Berland told Adel to fast, and to not eat anything, and to shun ‘life-saving’ treatment. And not only that, that he also requested an enormous pidyon nefesh, and promised her that she would live until 100.

The media went to great pains to show lots of footage of Adel weeping in torment, in her last days… The media wasn’t just trying to destroy the concept of emunat tzaddikim (belief in our sages) for the secular public, they were also hoping to turn many chareidim against this concept, too…

But here is the truth of what really occurred.


The Virda family is part of the Shuvu Banim congregation in Jerusalem. Their children learn in the Breslov cheder, and in other Breslov institutions in Jerusalem. Some time ago, Adel, the wife and mother, discovered she had gallbladder cancer. This is a rare, but very aggressive form of the illness, that affects only 0.5% of all cancer patients.

Gallbladder cancer is known to be exceptional, because there is effectively no way of curing the cancer, according to natural laws. The maximum life expectancy is 5 years. The whole treatment schedule is based on this, that the patient should live the maximum 5 years remaining to them, and no less.

According to the world-class doctors and professors of medicine, patients with this type of cancer can be split into two groups: the group where the growth can be operated on and removed, and the group where no operation is possible.


In either case, no doctor will promise the patient that they will live longer than five years, maximum – even in those cases where the surgery is successful.

This is because gallbladder cancer affects a number of additional, vital internal organs, including the liver, in a way that the doctors can’t successfully manage or treat.

Adel belonged to the group where surgery was possible, and she was operated on by Professor Ben Chaim. Ben Chaim explained to Adel, and to her husband Assaf, that he would clean out as much of the growth as he could, which would enable her to continue to live – i.e. for a maximum of five more years.

After the surgery, the doctors explained to the couple that there were some other options – hishtadlut ­– they could consider, to try to weaken the grip of the disease. One option discussed was chemotherapy, but the doctors explained that this treatment was known to weaken the body greatly, so was generally only considered in those cases where surgery was impossible.

It was further explained that there were doctors who recommended patients to have chemotherapy after the surgery, and many doctors who were against chemotherapy after surgery, because of its awful side effects.


Before they made their decision about what course of treatment to follow, the Virdas spoke to a number of medical experts, doctors and professors. After attaining all the facts, they decided against chemotherapy, in preference to following a program of holistic, natural treatment that would focus on healthy eating, and a much greater emphasis on praying.

Again, the goal of this treatment is to extend the patient’s life for as long as possible, and not to cure the cancer.

(In the video (which has now been seen by close to 55,000 people), you can see Rav Assaf explaining in his own words about all the different medical experts they consulted, and there is also an interview with the family’s GP, Dr Itamar Raz.)



Just like most believing Jews, the couple didn’t want to begin any treatment before they got a blessing from their Rav, Rabbi Berland, so they came to see him for a bracha.

As part of that process, they asked the Rav to give them a bottle of his ‘drops’, to strengthen Adel’s spirits, and by extension, her body.

These drops were not a ‘homeopathic remedy’, they are totally spiritual in nature, and they are one of the ways the Rav clothes his miracles in a ‘natural’ way.

The drops were working.

In the handwritten letter of Adel that Rav Assaf shares in the video, this is the period of time that Adel describes as feeling as though she was really “in Gan Eden, mamash.”


But the mother continued to rail against the couple’s decision, because Adel’s mother believed in the doctors who recommended chemotherapy after surgery.

She did everything in her power to pressure the couple to do as she wanted. She was used to this Breslov couple – sincere followers of the Rav! – ‘giving in’ to her, so she was sure that she’d also be able to convince them about this matter, too.

But the couple felt very strongly that chemotherapy would only destroy Adel’s health further.

They had the opinions of many leading doctors and professors to back them up, and they also had the experience of Rav Assaf’s brother, who had also been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer a couple of years’ earlier. The brother had opted to have chemotherapy after the surgery, and as a result he’d died very shortly after the operation, in tremendous agony.


The couple knew they were facing a harsh decree, so they decided to invest the remaining time left to Adel in living life as healthily and happily as they could, and not suffering from the awful side effects associated with the chemotherapy.

The mother of Adel started accusing her daughter or ‘not respecting her parent’, in an attempt to manipulate her into having the chemotherapy. When she heard that Rav Berland had given his blessing to them pursuing a natural course of palliative treatment, the mother decided to turn all of her efforts towards getting the Rav to pressure the couple into doing what the mother wanted.


At this stage, the mother turned to the known persecutors of the Rav, who have been behind the media’s slanderous stories for years.

They advised her to set up hidden cameras in her home, and then told her to ask the Rav to come to her house for a visit, and to insist on saying that she was paying a large pidyon for her daughter for a cure – even though she knew that the chances of being ‘cured’ were zero!

The mother also forced her way into the Rav’s home – again wearing hidden cameras – when she told the Rav and the Rabbanit that if they didn’t ‘force’ Adel to have chemotherapy, she would go to the media to slander them.

The Rav’s way is always to nullify himself before other Jews, however lowly they may be. Whenever a Jew makes a request of him, he says ‘yes, of course’, and he is always very careful to not embarrass his fellow Jew.

The Rav told her that if that is what she (i.e. Adel] really wanted, that she should then have the chemotherapy. And so, Adel was pressured into having the chemotherapy – which totally ravaged her body and her spirit. She actually wrote some very harsh words against her mother, for forcing her down that path.


After Adel’s passing, a’h, the mother decided to continue her vendetta against Rav Assaf, for not ‘listening to her early enough’ – and decided she was going to take revenge by portraying him as a ‘cult’ member, so she could ask the authorities to take his children out of the chareidi framework, and give them to her, chas v’shalom.

To this end, the Rav’s usual persecutors helped her to connect to the media, who were only too happy to publicize her claims that the Virdas were part of a dangerous cult, and that Assaf Virda wasn’t fit to raise his own children.

It’s known that in the place were baalei teshuvas stand, even perfect Tzaddikim can’t reach.

We hear so many stories where the child makes teshuva, and the parents fight against them with all their might. The anti-Torah media is full of these parents, and always stands ready to publicize their accusations and hateful claims, in order to pull the public away from believing in our true Tzaddikim.


Ad kan, from Pele Elyon.

Channel 13 – the “propaganda arm of the government” – were only too happy to put together an ‘expose’ portraying Rabbi Berland, shlita, as a ‘murderer’. In truth, they painted the mirror image of what really occurred. Rabbi Berland’s blessing and advice gave Adel chizzuk and hope, in her darkest days. What cut her life short prematurely – and caused her to suffer tremendous agony in her last days on earth – was the chemotherapy.

The chemotherapy that her own mother forced her into having.

And that is the truth, the facts, that Channel 13 – and the rest of the fake news MSM in Israel – is just never going to tell you.



Here is a little of what Rabbi Berland had to say about this episode, in own words:

“The holkim (opposers) give their whole lifeforce to those who they persecute. They give all the Torah they learned, all the work that they’ve done over the course of the 80 years of their life. A person who is persecuted, he can finish the whole of Shas in a second, because they [the holkim] give him all their lifeforce, and everything they labored for – to the person they persecute.

The holkim give a person his whole intellect.

A person could live for 400 years, in the merit of those who persecute him. There is one person who the whole world persecutes – all the television channels, the media, everyone. They also persecuted Avraham Avinu.

That one from America [probably referring to one of the Rav’s main persecutors, who was specifically named and thanked on Facebook by the Channel 13 journalist who did the ‘expose’ on the Rav for setting up the whole thing] paid 150,000 shekels, in order for the program [putting the other side of the story] to not be aired.

But he will make teshuva.”

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