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Shuvu Bonim community leader Rabbi Eliezer Berland played with his “Draidel” during Maariv tonight.
Berland – who is always wearing his Taalis – can be seen at the “Bima” of his Shul surrounded by young children as he repeatedly spins his Draidel. The Minyan is heard Davening in the background.
Rabbi Berland was released from house arrest just before Rosh Hashana, the result of a conviction for assault. Berland pleaded guilty to his actions against multiple victims. he had first fled Israel and traveled from country to country, thus avoiding extradition to Israel, where a warrant for his arrest had been issued. He spent time in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Morocco, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and Johannesburg before being arrested and extradited to Israel where he faced the law.
His followers claim that Berland willingly took upon himself this disgrace, suffering, and exile, “which spiritually protects the Jewish People from heavenly decrees of annihilation”. It should be noted that audio footage was released where Berland was talking to his attorney about the details of one of his assaults.
Despite the charges and the guilty plea, he continues to be a celebrity-rabbi with many well known Jewish music stars flocking to his Simchas Bais Hashoeva which hosted thousands of people.
He was recently given the honors of being Mesader Kedushin at the wedding of a son of prominent Breslov Mashpia Rabbi Mota Frank.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)