Rabbi Berland Relocated to Johannesburg


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berlShuvu Banim Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Berland is now in Johannesburg, South Africa after he was instructed to leave Zimbabwe. His visa in that country expired after he remained a number of months.

Rabbi Berland was recently questioned and released by local police in Zimbabwe, and they instructed him to leave after his visa expired.

According to reports, the rav was told that upon his arrival in South Africa he was be detained and turned over to Israeli authorities, where he is wanted for alleged crimes. Tefilos were held simultaneously at the Kosel as hundreds of chassidim awaited his arrival. The rav arrived and was permitted to daven mincha in the airport. At the end he was not detained and he was cleared through customs and permitted to enter the country.

Rabbi Berland’s travels began when he fled Israel around 18 months ago to avoid arrest amid accusations of law-breaking. He first set up shop in Morocco, where he was for seven months until being instructed to leave. He then chose Zimbabwe as his new home, where he remained until now.

Prior to Purim, YWN had reported that Rabbi Berland instructed his talmidim to be mispallel for him as he plans on returning to Israel. He remained in Zimbabwe on Purim, where 150 of his Chassidim joined him.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. I’m pretty sure that fleeing the country when you are accused of some pretty heinous crimes takes it beyond the alleged law-breaking level. Fleeing the country would be considered law-breaking. Perhaps he should actually address those allegations? Why do you guys insist on treating him with respect when he clearly doesn’t seem to deserve it?

  2. This just goes to show that all the reports that there is a warrant for his arrest, and that he can only go to countries that dont have an agreement with Israel, are lies. Johanesburg has an agreement with Israel. For many hours they held him at the airport wanting to send him to Israel. But after contacting all the Israeli athourities they couldn’t find any reason to export him.

  3. It’s all just a huge bubble that the media created. He is not accused of any crimes, was completely allowed to leave Israel, is not wanted by the police. As his host clearly stated he is not coming back to Israel for personal reasons concerning his family. The only crime he is accused was staying in Zimbabwe with an expired visa.

    The problem is that once the media creates a story based on allegations from individuals which have personal interests in the matter, everyone already takes it as a fact.

    Us religious Jews should know better. We have clear laws about what we are allowed to believe. Believing loshon harah is no less harsh then not eating kosher or keeping shobbas, it is actually alot worse as the Chofetz Chaim clearly states.

  4. #2,
    Treat Every Jew with Respect, even when it does not Seem that they deserve it. Mitzvah, Havi Dan as Kol Odom Lkaf Zchus.

    YWN is doing the right thing, while they’re reporting it, in a Respectful manner.

  5. #3, #4, and #5 are all correct. This is just one big misunderstanding. R’ Berland shlit”a just wanted to visit Morocco, and then Zimbabwe, and now South Africa. Clearly #1 and #2 don’t understand the secret sodose that R’ Berland knows, and which motivated him to go there. He is picking up the nitzotzose kedusha there, the klipose. A very holy man.

  6. #4- He is wanted for questioning by the Israeli police.

    #3- Extradition is a legal process that is decided by the courts, not the border police.

  7. #7 according to the law they are not allowed to allow him into the country if he is wanted for arrest in another country in which they have a treaty with. His name automatically shows up by customs control and they must deport him to his original country.
    Extradition in which a person does a crime in the visiting country is decided by the courts.
    He may be wanted for questioning but it was perfectly lawful for him to leave and perfectly lawful for him to travel wherever he likes for as long as he likes.