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SAVED FROM A MURDEROUS TERRORIST
The following amazing story shows just how much holy innocence Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, has infused into his students, and is a first-hand account of how a student from Shuvu Banim was saved from a murderous terrorist.
The student, Nachman Lerner, is a holy avreich (Torah student) at the main Shuvu Banim yeshiva in the old city of Jerusalem. Last Shabbat, Nachman was walking back to his home after visiting the Kotel, around 12pm in the early afternoon.
Like many of Rav Berland’s students, Nachman Lerner is extremely careful with the mitzvah of shmirat eynayim, or guarding the eyes. After he wraps himself in his tallit (prayer shawl) for the morning prayers, he often stays that way until he reaches his home, and also recites the tikkun haklali while he walks, too.
Just as he was leaving the Shaar Shechem (the Damascus Gate) last Shabbat, a female terrorist holding a knife suddenly ran directly at him, and tried with all her might to stab him.
While all this was happening, there was no other Jewish bystanders in the area, and certainly not any security personnel, either.
Somehow, Nachman Lerner managed to evade the female terrorist, and then calmly continued home to where his family were waiting for him to begin their Shabbat seuda (meal).
When the police later reviewed the video footage of the area, it became immediately clear to them that a potentially extremely dangerous attempted terrorist attack had just taken place - but they also realized that the victim, Nachman Lerner, apparently had no idea of what had just taken place.
When he got home, Nachman Lerner told his family that some female arab terrorist had just tried to attack him next to Shaar Shechem, and had scratched him a bit. It seems that Nachman Lerner believed he’d just been attacked by an unbalanced woman who must often start abusing passers by, and had no idea that he’d been involved in an attempted murder.
So he just continued home and didn’t’ really give what had happened another thought.
But this isn’t where the story ends.
Early Sunday morning, the police contacted some of the students from the Shuvu Banim yeshiva to try and find the avreich who’d been involved in the attempted stabbing the day before. These students tried to get in touch with Nachman Lerner, but to no avail. Lerner had already gone to learn for the day, and he didn’t own a cellphone that he could be contacted on.
One of the students set out to try to track him down in the yeshiva, in order to send him over to the police station to testify about the attempted stabbing, but when he found Nachman Lerner, he had no idea what he was talking about. One of the students asked him how he could be so calm and unafraid, in the face of an attempted murder, and Nachman Lerner replied that he was relying on the blessing from the Rav, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita.
The Rav had recently told him that he could continue to enter and exit the old city via the Shaar Shechem gate without any fear, because ‘angels were accompanying him, in the merit of his shmirat eynayim.’
This is how Nachman Lerner explained things in his own words:
“Thanks go to Hashem Yitborach, for all the miracles. The police said that it’s impossible to explain what happened to me, other than to say I experienced an open miracle. There is simply no connection between what I experienced myself [during the attack], and what I saw happening on the police footage - i.e. what actually was happening in reality.
“The police told me: ‘Mister, this was some horrible woman, a 26 year old terrorist, who tried to stab you multiple times.’”
Nachman Lerner concluded:
“This is what Rav Berland, shlita, always says: A person who learns Gemara, and who tries to guard his eyes, and who goes to the Kotel - angels accompany him. The police told me that HaKadosh Baruch Hu Himself must have been giving me a hug.”
You can hear Nachman Lerner tell the story himself in the original Hebrew over on the newly-restored Hebrew site, HERE.
BH, we are working on getting the English site back to full operation very shortly.
PARSHAT RE-EH WITH RAV ELIEZER BERLAND, SHLITA: UMAN, ROSH HASHANA
The Rebbe said: “My Rosh Hashana is greater than anything. It’s surprising to me that since those who are close to me believe in me, why my followers aren’t more careful about being there for Rosh Hashana. No man should be missing!”
Why don’t they make announcements, and PR campaigns and a big hullabaloo in the world that everyone should travel to Uman on Rosh Hashana? No man should be missing! We need to fight for this, with some true mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice).
When we travel to the holy and awesome tzyion (grave), where the spirit of Moshiach Ben David is hidden and concealed, this blows over all the people travelling to the awesome and holy Rabbenu HaKadosh. When we travel [with the goal of] real repentance, and with real regret, from the depths of our heart, and everything we’ve gone through during the entire year, and all the years from the day we first stood on our feet. From the time of the sin of Adam, the first man, and all the gilgulim (reincarnations) we’ve experienced up until now.
When we return in true teshuva and regret deeply, from the depths of our heart, which is an aspect of ‘from the depths I call out to Hashem’. From the deepest depths, from those places which no other Jew has ever fallen into throughout the history of the world.
Then, even if a person’s sins have risen above his head…the awesome Rabbenu Hakadosh still has the strength to take him out of there by his holy payot, which still remain to him, and to raise him up to the highest heights.
When we’re on this awesome journey and we accept in truth and simplicity not to return to our faulty ways, and we accept upon ourselves true shmirat eynayim (guarding the eyes), and to finish the whole of Shas (i.e. to complete the whole Gemara) and all of the books of Rabbenu Hakadosh and Rav Natan, and the rest of the holy books, then we prepare vessels for Rabbenu Hakadosh to shine into us the light of ein sof, the infinite, Divine light. To make us ‘like him, mamash’ as he promised, which is his mission and purpose in the world, to shine the light of ein sof upon us.
When we travel to Rabbenu, we get yirat shemayim (the fear of Heaven).
Rabbenu said: “I’m a treasure-house of the fear of Heaven.” Every footstep that we take to travel to Rabbenu creates an angel. Every footstep we take to get to the Tzaddik give us more yirah (fear of Heaven). Every single movement we make on behalf of Rabbenu creates angels. Simply by making the journey, we merit to receive a huge light, because Rabbenu is fire. When we travel to Rabbenu, we travel on pathways of fire. Rabbenu is a pillar of flame, Rabbenu Hakadosh is a burning fire for Hashem.
Everyone wants to travel to Rabbenu. People make a lot of self-sacrifice to travel to Rabbenu, they leave everything behind. Everyone knows in this generation that Rabbenu is the true Tzaddik. Rabbenu Hakadosh never paid any attention to this world, he never listened to this world, nothing in this world interested him, and he never even looked at the world.
The Rebbe says: “I didn’t see?! What, do you think that I’m blind? Really, I have eyes to see from one end of the earth to the other.”
We’re travelling to a Tzaddik like this, who sees from one end of the world to the other, we’re travelling to a Tzaddik like this, who can heal all the illnesses in the world. There is no sickness that he can’t heal.
"On Rosh Hashana, we’re…sustaining the flow of our parnassa (ability to make a living), we’re sustaining the souls of our children, and all of the salvations [required] for our whole life."
THERE IS NO MIRACLE THAT CAN'T BE DONE FOR HIM
On Rosh Hashana…if a person would believe in Rabbenu, and believe in Rosh Hashana, then there is no miracle that can’t be done for him, or for his friends, or for his wife, or for all the generations.
There is nothing that can’t be attained on Rosh Hashana, if we would only stand by the tzyion and really pray honestly, and with real feeling, instead of wandering around and sight-seeing - then it would be possible to achieve anything.
There is no gate that is closed, and it’s possible to merit to have every salvation, both for himself and for all of Am Yisrael.
The Rebbe said: “My Rosh Hashana is a huge innovation. Hashem Yitborach knows that I didn’t inherit this thing from my forefathers, He simple gave this to me as a present, that I should know what Rosh Hashana truly is! Not only you depend on my Rosh Hashana, rather, the whole entire world depends on my Rosh Hashana.”
The Rebbe cried this out in a loud voice, from the bottom of his heart. So, what do you say? There is nothing greater than this.
[The Rebbe continued] that whoever comes to me on Rosh Hashana, would be able to receive the sort of tikkunim (spiritual rectifications) that it would be impossible for him to receive at any other time.
You have nothing to worry about, ‘eat delicacies and drink sweet beverages’, because Hashem is with you, and everything will be rectified for you on Rosh Hashana, everything will be rectified for you!
'THESE DEVICES ARE ADDICTIVE' - A CALL TO DITCH SMARTPHONES
Rav Aharon Feinhadler, shlita, is the head of the ‘Mahane Israel’ group of Torah institutions, which includes a yeshiva, and also a number of kollels that were set up specifically to accommodate baalei teshuvas, or returnees to orthodox Jewish practice.
After a couple of his attempts to visit the Rav failed due to the incredible number of people attending the packed prayer services, Rav Feinhadler recently managed to see Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, face-to-face, and kindly agreed to be interviewed immediately after his visit.
(You can hear the full interview for yourself in the original Hebrew by calling the Breslov Information Line on: 972-2-800-8800).
Rav Feinhadler began:
“I want to say that Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, is the only spiritual leader who already affixed his signature back in Iyar, to the statement coming out against all smart phones with internet or that can stream movies.”
“In the meantime, I had the merit of being with Rav Berland, shlita, for more than two hours, and he also gave over a shiur (Torah lesson) to me. I took this opportunity to ask the Rav, shlita, if it would be possible to remove the use of smartphones from every Breslov institution. In my innocence, I thought that it would take these institutions around three months of preparations to be able to do this, and to move all the information over to the correct files.
“But Rav Berland, shlita, surprised me and excited me with his response:
‘No, now we want to get rid of all of the computers [that are connected to the internet]. Not a single forbidden computer should stay.’”
Rav Feinhadler continues:
“You don’t see a Rav like this, and kedusha (holiness) like this every day. A level of holiness like this arouses love in shemayim (the heavens), and creates defending angels for Am Yisrael. On the same occasion, Rav Berland, shlita, invited me to join him for the mincha and maariv prayers that are held in his home, where he returned to the matter of the smart phones. I, the small one, stood opposite him while he talked [to the crowd] and distributed information with his holy hands.
“I hope that this matter is going to continue to grow,” said Rav Feinhadler. “Practically, I know that even before I came to visit Rav Berland, shlita, he’d broken a number of i-Phones in front of the whole community. The whole thing started on the holiday of redemption [i.e. Shavuot], when the Rav returned home.
THE RAV SMASHED SMARTPHONES THE WAY YOU'D SMASH AN IDOL
“Rav Berland took a hammer weighing five kilo and started smashing unkosher smart phones the same way you’d smash idolatrous statues. I imagine that the Rav has probably cleared out another 150 or so of these devices, in the meantime, including the so-called ‘kosher’ smart phones.
“The Rav came out strongly against the so-called ‘kosher’ smart phones, when he said that there’s really no difference between a ‘kosher’ (i.e. filtered) phone and an ‘obscene’ one (i.e. one that doesn’t have a filter.)
“Every place that I come to, I tell people about Rav Berland’s holy advice. He’s a man of truth, who only wants for Am Yisrael to succeed and to be holy. He wants to rescue Am Yisrael from all the terrible spiritual decline that is [smartphones].
A TRUE SPIRITUAL HOLOCAUST
“Many of the Gedolei Israel (spiritual leaders of the Jewish people) have described the situation today as being a true spiritual holocaust, inasmuch as causing people to sin is worse than actually murdering them.
“After all, how many ‘stumbling blocks’ are arising dafka from these ‘kosher’ phones? These devices [i.e. smartphones] are guaranteed to trip people up and cause a spiritual breakdown, or the filter suddenly stops working all by itself. These devices are addictive - and ultimately, a person [who uses them] becomes someone who’s indistinguishable from a chiloni (completely secular Jew).”
The security team that was assigned by the Israeli court to accompany Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, 24/7 have no idea what's going on:
They're using the most hi-tech cameras and equipment possible, yet they keep getting 'white outs' only around the Rav, which are preventing them from seeing his face.
When they told us about the problem, we explained that this is nothing new, and showed them the video taken of the aura around Rav Berland during his L'ag B'Omer shiur, and also told them about Attorney Ephraim Dimri's stories of how the Israeli Prison Service's cameras kept 'losing' the Rav in prison, and couldn't find him anywhere.
The security guys agreed to give us a couple of stills from one of their latest video which clearly shows the aura around Rav Berland, shlita, and we're working on getting a video clip up, too.
But in the meantime, the Rav's aura has returned.
THE RAV, SHLITA, STILL NEEDS OUR HELP!
The American specialists are flying in today to see what can be done to try to save the Rav's leg from amputation, lo aleinu. The fundraising effort to raise $1 milllion to cover the Rav's astronomical medical expenses is still continuing, as we haven't used raised the funds required.
Am Yisrael, the Rav needs our help!
Please go HERE to donate.
(As we're still working on getting our site up and running after being maliciously hacked, you'll be taken through to the temporary donation page on Rav Ofer Erez's website. Simply scroll down under the video, insert the amount in shekels you want to donate, and press the yellow 'donate' button. You'll be taken straight through to Paypal.)
Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, gives over a profound lesson about the connection between having a good eye, and the redemption of the Jewish people.
(Translated and reprinted from the Kvevat Shomrem Newsletter, Parshat Va-etchanan, 5777).
GOOD HEART VS GOOD EYE
The simple meaning of a ‘good heart’ is that you do acts of (chesed) kindness, that you have mercy on the other person. But an ayin tova, a good eye, this means that you encourage and support another person without being envious of them. So a ‘good eye’ is something else, entirely.
The Zohar says that if we could have seen the eyes of King David, [we would know that] they contained all the colors that exist in the world. The eye of Bilaam contained within it all the evil in the world, but the eyes of David only wished good on another person, “you put joy in my heart…” etc.
That the other guy has a villa, and that he should have a nice car, and a skyscraper, and a penthouse. I don’t need anything, I can live in some hole in the ground - so having a good eye is much more than having a good heart.
The gematria of עפרון Ephron, is ‘ayin ra’ - an evil eye, the opposite of a good eye. King David had such a good eye, that every place he looked, the whole city would immediately make teshuva. If David had lived for another 30 years, the whole world would have returned in teshuva.
THE YESHIVA IS A FAMILY
If we look at the other person with a good eye, and we love the other person…I always say that this yeshiva [Shuvu Banim] is a family. This yeshiva is not a yeshiva like the other yeshivas, this is a family. Love your brothers, love your friends, each person should love the other, and want to help them. Here, we help everyone else without flagging, because the foundation here is that we’re a family, it’s a yeshiva that’s a family, this is my brother, this is my father…..
We got used to being together… like brothers and sisters, like a family, like parents with their children…And this is also true of all Am Yisrael, all of the people of Israel are also one family, all of Am Yisrael are one body, one family.
When there’s a good eye, says the Avi Ezri, there won’t be any more murders in Israel. Everyone will see the other person with a good eye, so even the murderers will be able to escape from their ‘evil eye’. If there would be brotherly love and friendship between all of Israel, there wouldn’t be any murders, there wouldn’t be any more robberies, no-one would touch anyone else’s money. Everyone would coo [together] like one person.
LASHON HARA IS WORSE THAN IMMORALITY, BLOODSHED AND WORSHIPPING IDOLS
The moment there would be love and friendship in Israel - and this is that that means, because ‘you should do what is just in the eyes of Hashem’. A person says some lashon hara (gossip) about someone, publishes something about someone, or says something that isn’t true or accurate, this is worse than [the sins] of immorality, bloodshed or worshipping idols - it’s worse than anything!
A person should distribute tzedaka (charity) in abundance. He shouldn’t be afraid, he shouldn’t say ‘what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours’. [Instead he should say] ‘What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is yours’.
TZEDAKA CAN MOVE THE CELESTIAL ORBS
The Rebbe says, a person who’s distributing money, who’s giving, who had a good eye for everyone, and he throws money around without making an accounting of it, and he doesn’t pay attention to anything else - he can change the whole natural order. He can shift the sun, he can move the sun, the moon, the stars - he can shift everything!
So, tzedaka can move all the celestial orbs. There are 12 mazalot (signs of the zodiac), and 7 celestial bodies, and by way of tzedaka, by giving tzedaka to the Tzaddik…not every type of tzedaka shifts the celestial orbs, only the tzedaka that goes to the Tzaddik…
All the suffering and difficulties that a person has, every type of trouble and pain, everything - a person does it to himself, by being jealous, and by hating others, and by having a stingy outlook. He doesn’t have a good eye.
Ayin tova, a good eye. ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him, and you will heap burning coals upon his head’. Give your biggest enemy something to drink, something to eat, laud him, talk about his good points. This is the only way that God will destroy all of the rashaim (evildoers), and only then will we merit to the complete geula (redemption), may it be speedily in our days.
On Wednesday August 2, 2017, Shuvu Banim's English language website at: www.ravberland.com was hacked and deliberately affected with malware, which re-routed all visitors to other sites.
The following day, on Thursday August 3, 2017, Shuvu Banim's main Hebrew website at: www.shuvubanim.com was also maliciously hacked and taken off-line.
The hacks were extremely professional, and appear to have infected both sites with a type of virus called a 'trojan horse', which is extremely difficult to clean up. A programming expert has been working around the clock to help get the Shuvu Banim sites back online, but due to the extremely professional level of the hack - referred to as 'extremely talented - like CIA or Mossad level talented' by the programming expert - it may take a few days to get the other sites operational again.
HACKS AIM TO DERAIL THE FUNDRAISING EFFORT TO SAVE THE RAV'S LEG
While Shuvu Banim is waiting to officially confirm the identity of the people or persons behind the malicious hack, it's clear that they were timed to try to derail the fundraising effort that's currently been undertaken to raise money for Rav Berland's, shlita, ongoing serious medical issues.
A few days before the sites were hacked, the Rav put out a plea for help from the wider community, to help raise $1 million to fly in expert doctors from the US, who will BH be able to help save the Rav's leg (see the video above).
His original plea, translated in English, can be seen HERE.
In the meantime, if you'd like to help donate to cover Rav Berland's astronomical medical costs, you can do so by going to THIS PAGE on Rav Ofer Erez's website, where the fundraising campaign has temporarily been moved, until the Shuvu Banim websites are fully operational again.
Scroll below the video, insert the amount in shekels you'd like to donate, then press the yellow 'send' button, which will take you through to Paypal, where you can either pay via Paypal or using a credit card.