JOHANNESBURG COURT: Rabbi Berland Is Flight Risk; Denies Bail; To Remain In Custody Until Decision Is Made To Extradite Him To Israel



The Johannesburg Magistrate Court denied bail for Rabbi Eliezer Berland, head of the Breslov Shuvu Banim Kehilla, and ordered him to remain in custody. The court said that Rabbi Berland was a flight risk and he was therefore denied bail.

In court, the rabbi was described as an elderly man in poor health.

His defense assured the court he has ties to South Africa and won’t flee if granted bail.

However, the State pointed out he fled Holland while on bail a few years ago after being arrested and set to be extradited to Israel.

The State argued that if he ignored his bail conditions once, what would stop him from doing it again.

His lawyer, Themba Langa, says the magistrate ruled that he is a flight risk despite his age and has access to money and a number of passports.

But Langa says they will appeal.

“The magistrate emphasized the fact that the rabbi did not comply with bail conditions in Holland and the court wasn’t convinced that, if granted bail, he would do the same.”

Tensions were running high among chassidim, who were waiting to hear the verdict, if the Rabbi will be extradited to Israel or be released. Thousands of his chassidim recited Tikun Klalli at Meoras hamachpela last night..

Israel Police have been after the Rabbi for a number of years, hoping to finally hear the extradition request is granted to send him home to face an investigation based on complaints by multiple women against him in Israel.

The rav’s saga during recent years has been difficult as he has been on the run, entering and fleeing from a number of countries as was reported by YWN-ISRAEL.



  1. Deny him bail and send him to Israel to go on trial.His fleeing from country to country does NOT indicate an innocent person. Have rachmonis on the WOMEN who claim to be abused.

  2. i don’t know the Rabbi but im BE”H not going to jump to a conclusion we are Bennay Yisroael and He is a Goan to shomer Shabbat Jews it could be the reason He’s doing this is to save embarrassing the Woman who’s claiming something. What ever it is a lot more emphasis is put on the way Geonim do things sometimes things are miss read who knows what it could be but im pretty sure there’s more that meets the eye about Him if i could send a message it be please try to make peace BE”H Hag Semayah

  3. An innocent person would do everything in their power to prove their innocence against such horrible allegations. However if they run away it’s generally out of guilt, shame, fear of punishment etc.

  4. chasing could be or do more damage who knows for the Tallet and Tfellin part the way i could understand is HaShem is the only Judge and only HaShem could protect Him

  5. Rav Berland hasn’t even been CHARGED with any crime. The Israelis only want to question him because some women have come forward with accusations. In this case, one is known to have been offered money to lie about charges and several have vendettas against religious men or are married to such persons.

    How many countries expend so much money and effort to get someone back to Israel just to be questioned? Any person of reasonable intelligence can see that the Israelis have a motive other than protecting women who are genuinely abused. Look at the stats and you can see that several kiruv rabbis (Rav Berland is famous for bringing Yidden back to their roots) have died after such investigations. Hard to believe they all just happened to get sick.

    If you knew that someone charged you with such a crime and you also knew that you would not get fair treatment, and worse would come out of the investigation with a terminal illness, might you not also do what you can to avoid being questioned?

    #8: you are assuming he is guilty. shame on you. also, sometimes vindication cannot be achieved through the criminal “justice” system. In the US as well as Israel, and I’ve read some pretty bad reports of treatment of inmates being held on charges in South Africa!

    #4: operative word: generally. Rav Berland is not just anybody. And there are almost always other sides to the story.

    Regarding the questions about tallis and tefillin, Rav Berland generally learns and davens and does little else, so it makes sense. He is a tzaddik, after all, not just some shmoe on the street showing up in religious clothing… It’s not uncommon for big rabbis to be in tallis and tefillin all day.

  6. YOMAMA – there is practically no bigger admission of guilt then fleeing the law, especially b/c he had 100’s of ‘chasidim’ depending on him.

    Pls stop fooling yourself blind about this Rabbi, nowadays in the ‘Information Age’ there is not much space for delusion, you’re are dying breed.