Rav Shalom Arush spoke to Kol Berama Radio on Tuesday morning 25 Nissan regarding the imprisonment and what appears to be the imminent honoring of an extradition request pertaining to Rabbi Eliezer Berland.
Rabbi Berland, who is deemed a flight risk, remains imprisoned in South Africa and it appears authorities are planning to hand him over to Israel Police in honor of an Israeli extradition request.
Following is a summary of the interview with Rav Arush.
The rav has been fleeing for three years but in actuality, no one is doing anything here on his behalf.
I understand Rabbi Grossman flew there to assist and I know I and others have been working, davening and giving shiurim. To my sorrow people today believe the media and in this case I merited being a shamesh of the rav, as well as a driver. I can tell you what I saw with my eyes. This is not a story from someone else but I saw it. The man is a ‘Malach Hashem’, one who understands what another thinks, who can stand 16 hours without moving for Shmona Esrei and much more which I am not going to speak about.
Gedolei Tzaddikim, many, believe that Rav Berland’s situation is simply the Rav is atoning for the entire generation. He is literally in a life threatening situation at present.
One must understand he almost does not sleep or eat. His entire being is davening and learning, serving HKBH. I saw this as his first shamesh, even erev Shabbos. I can tell you for a fact that he does not sleep on Shabbos.
What can or should be done that has not been done?
There was a protest outside the [S. African] Embassy. The problem is people believe the rumors and untruths without even checking out the facts. The Torah tells us we cannot believe such loshon hora but people believe. Are there two witnesses anywhere? They just believe and halacha is thrust aside.
The rav has been imprisoned under harsh conditions in S. Africa under harsh conditions. Perhaps the system there is corrupt? Perhaps there is something or someone here who can or will act? The lone response is Rav Grossman who headed there to assist.
Look at the terror attacks. who can say what kitrug is on Am Yisrael. I cannot but I know these are serious matters. I am disappointed by the politicians, those who could do something but don’t act.
We must cry out to HKBH, each and every one of us over the disgrace to this outstanding Jew, talmid chacham and Malach H’. We must act with derech eretz.
It appears the rabbi will be extradited to Israel. What will you tell your chassidim to do when he is brought for questioning by authorities?
As I explained, we believe only acting with derech eretz, with tefilos and Yiras Shomayim. This is the only response to anything – with derech eretz. We must always act properly even if others do not. We must cry to Hashem.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)