Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eliezar Berland: Returns to Israel and is arrested for alleged sex abuse and harassment

Haaretz    Rabbi Eliezer Berland, leader of the Shuvu Banim community, was extradited from South Africa and arrested after he landed in Israel on Tuesday, on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment, Israel Police said.

Hundreds of Berland supporters, many of whom were in their cars, were waiting outside the airport for the police van containing Berland.

Berland's extradition marks the end of an international saga that began when he fled Israel more than three years ago after he was suspected of a number of sex crimes against women, namely in his community.

Followers of the rabbi said a group of them accompanied him on an El Al flight from Johannesburg.
"Rabbi Eliezer Berland's extradition on suspicion of sex crimes has been completed," police said in a statement. "After a continuous effort, the Israel Police arrested Rabbi Eliezer Berland, wanted for some time for investigation on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment," a police statement said.[...]

Berland's lawyer said his decision to leave Israel had nothing to do with the investigation against him, of which "he did not know and could not know about."

She said that he was now returning to Israel "of his own free will and out of his wish to cooperate with law enforcement agencies."

"This is an elderly and man in his 80s, head of the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva… he trusts the authorities will end the matter quickly and efficiently. There is no doubt in our minds that the suspicions will be refuted once the investigation is concluded. 


  1. Looks like he is in the 'Gedolim' list of the Aguda. Matzav is not reporting anything about this. YWN is being careful not to be too negative about him. After all he preaches for Emunas "chachomim"...

  2. During the Israeli election campaign 1988 one of the main messages by "DEGEL HATORAH" was AL SMOL SHEHU YEMIN, to put it in plain English, we have the duty to believe to our GEDOLIM when they say that what we know is our left hand is actually the right hand, then must believe them and not follow our knowledge.

    What you see in some of the mainstream CHAREDI media is the result of a similar ideology.

    Needless to say that not everyone who became known as a rov or a godol deserve any trust at all, especially considering the very often illegitimate ways in which the above earn their position.

  3. "Smol shehu yemin" in the words of ch"azal refers to the way the chachomim apply the halocho. For instance to determine when Rosh Chodesh is we go by the Eidim. Even if you have a professional astronomer who knows that it has to be astronomically wrong he too would be obligated to follow the way Beis Din paskened.

    However when it comes to things that are established Halocho and you can have a Rov that seems like the most choshuv and greatest etc and under normal circumstances would deserve our trust. If he goes against the Torah "because he said so" that does not work.

  4. The point I was making was in regards to some people's attitude and tactics. I did not try and explain what CHAZAL said.

  5. Politically IncorrectJuly 21, 2016 at 2:19 AM

    On the contrary, since I do not see the Agudah coming out to defend him, then he must not be on their gedolim list. ..

  6. BetYouCantPushJustOneJuly 21, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    It's all about a zero-sum game now where reproduction strategy is at the epoch of virtue, and kol de'alim g'var, so-to-speak. Whoever manages to reproduce and have their offspring reproduce is now more virtuous based on the merit of his reproductive success alone.

    I don't blame them, per se. I blame G-D for not bringing Moshiach already.

  7. In response to the comments here: I don't know what the gedolim industry has to do with all this.
    There is a universal concept: innocent until proven guilty. In halacha, one who has a chezkas kashrus, not to mention a talmid chacham, retains his innocence so long as he has not been proven guilty through due process. This doesn't mean that he is innocent, and it doesn't mean that charges shouldn't be brought against him. All it means is that until the truth emerges, every human being is entitled to a fair trial.
    That is the reason why some responsible websites have not been reporting this story.

  8. We may not be able to give him a chiyuv misso. But given the fact that he has been escaping from country to country illegally and given the statements that his followers make about tzadikim being aloud to violate halacho. Given the severity and persistence of the accusations and his behavior for the past 2 years. Given the fact that the most important Talmidei Chachomim from the Breslov chassidus who know this man for very long have come out with an unequivocal statement. Given the fact that thousands of Jews are being impacted directly by this man and the tremendous spiritual danger this entails the silence of these sites is not appropriate at all.
    They are ignoring this the same way they ignored the violation perpetrated by Shmuel and Sholom kaminetzky.


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