Rabbi Berland Arrested In Amsterdam – Likely To Be Extradited To Israel


berlShuvu Banim Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Berland departed from Johannesburg where he managed to evade police and avoid being arrested.

According to a Kikar Shabbos report the rabbi fled on Wednesday night the eve of 16 Elul for an “unknown destination”.

During recent weeks South African police attempted to arrest the rabbi twice, albeit without success. As a result of the events the rav and his closest talmidim made the decision to leave that country.

Chassidim are trying to remain optimistic, that they will see their rosh yeshiva at the tziyun of Rav Nachman of Breslob in Uman on Rosh Hashanah.

It is likely that he is going to be extradited to Israel.

Last month YWN reported that an international arrest warrant had been issued for Rabbi Eliezer Berland. Rav Berland has been on the run for some time, seeking to evade arrest in Israel for alleged crimes.

South African police almost placed the rabbi in custody while he was attending a wedding but with the help of some of his chassidim, the rav succeeded in fleeing the chasenah without being taken into custody.

Since fleeing Eretz Yisrael, the rav has been in Morocco and Zimbabwe as he continued to evade arrest.

Rabbi Berland’s travels began when he fled Israel around 23 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 his visa expired – as well as being questioned by local police. He was instructed to leave immediately, and then proceeded to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he remained until a few days ago.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. There is no precedent that the Interpol will seek to arrest a person on the type of offenses attributed to Rabbi Berland, especially since he was not convicted of anything but only wanted for questioning.

    There are lots of convicted fugitive criminals and murderers in South Africa, living there for years, and nobody is looking for them. This indicates that Rabbi Berland is marked due to some objective and goal for which a complete system is in operation to chase him all over the world as we have already seen (and this can be done by people with lots of money and power), and therefore it is clear that even if he will come for investigation he will not be given a fair trial.

  2. Arrest warrants aren’t issued because someone paid for them, “David Cohen”. And who exactly “with lots of money and power” might it be who’s got something against him?
    I think you’re a stan. (Google it. It’s nothing to do with the Soton.)

  3. He was instructed to leave immediately, by whom? The local police were trying to arrest him, not let him sneak away.

    I hope that for our sake he is found innocent.

  4. Chazal said that if you saw a Talmid Chacham sin at night don’t hold it against him the next morning because by then he’s certainly done teshuva, and that’s talking about someone who actually SAW the alleged aveira, not about those who hear about it from other sources. The whole suspicion about him rests on the testimony of a few people, have they ever undergone polygraphs?

  5. It comes down to this: INNOCENT PEOPLE DO NOT RUN FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF A DEMOCRACY!! And yes, at this point he will probably not get a fair trial because he’s been on the run.
    He very obviously did something very wrong if there is an international man hunt for him. They wouldn’t do that “just for questioning”. To say he is being targeted for who he is is just blatant naivety and stupidity.
    He either knows some very important information about a crime that was committed, or actually committed the crime (at this point it seems to be the latter).
    Just keep in mind, evading/resisting arrest is a crime in and of itself. People (myself included) get all upset when cops “put themselves above the law”; well guess what, citizens have no business doing it either.
    (Before you go crazy, I have a lot of problems with a lot of things that the Israeli government does(draft, and other anti-charedi stuff included)).

  6. @5: I think you’re blowing the word Google out of proportion. I think #2 said to Google the word “stan,” nowhere did he say that he is one of those that believes everything on the Internets.

  7. noone should judge him lekaf chova. Israeli police don’t live with a torah; they go by hearsay and bias. Even if we don’t follow the breslav shita; rav berland is a man on a different level. The israeli govt knows that if he tellls his followers to jump off a bridge they all will. They know that if he tells his followers to kill out a city of arabs; they will. He’s wanted for questioning. but most of all the israeli police want him off the streets for security purposes. Anyone that believes any of the allegations and made up stories about him is a man that has gone too far with his internet addictions. the internet and all the torah writers (with their independent analysis’) has become to them the new vaad harabanim. How sad!

  8. Innocent – probably NOT
    Guilty – probably NOT

    There is a need to question him about allegations, Y is the assumption that dozens of women are making up a story. We are living in a sorry state of affairs especially in the world of abuse. STOP attacking victims & minimizing their testimonies. Fugitives usually are on the rUn from SOMETHING, what is the something???

  9. #7 For the record, Israel is SUPPOSE TO BE A DEMOCRACY but it never was. It might be the most “democratic” in the Middle East but it’s not a democracy like the US. It’s only democratic for the secular left.

    I’m not saying he’s right or wrong but he might very well have run away because in Israel the law is that one is guilty until proven innocent, which is quite a difficult task when you have corrupt judges with top of the world liars as prosecutors.

  10. How many innocent Americans are freed from death row and *every day* after being found innocent after having served many years or decades in jail for a crime they did not commit but were convicted of?

  11. Those who maintain that Rav Berland’s running away is proof of his guilt really have no idea how the court and police systems work here in Israel. There are no Miranda rights, no, one does not have a right to an attorney – they can keep you and question you as much as they want without letting you so much as speak to an attorney.

    As other commenters mentioned, there is no presumption of innocence, either.

    Add to that the tendency to treat some detainees/defendants as far less equal than others, and it’s not hard to see why someone like Rav Berland would try to evade arrest, and that it means nothing as to his innocence.

  12. After re-reading my comment I realized that the end might be taken the wrong way: I meant to say that his attempt at evading arrest should not be taken as proof of his guilt, in the line of “well, if he hadn’t done anything wrong, he wouldn’t have gone on the run.”

  13. We don’t know the truth, but running from a government is a foolish thing to do, they end up catching up to you. although Snowden has been successful so far. Deri didn’t run away and was convicted unjustly, but he survived. If one has bitochon,he will survive but running away is not an option.