Shocking Video Of Rabbi Berland Surfaces; Followers Defend It As ‘Miraculous Healing Technique’

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On Sunday morning a shocking video went viral on social media that depicted Rabbi Eliezer Berland conducting, what appears to be an act that goes against all the teachings of Torah and Halachah. Rabbi Berland is the community leader of the Shuvu Banim community.

While many people were shocked by the video footage, members of the Shuvu Banim community defended Rabbi Berland’s actions claiming that this was an extreme circumstance with a good reason for his actions. Viewers saw Rabbi Berland wrapped in his Tallis and Tefillin touching the face of a woman.

The followers of Rabbi Berland publicized another video of the woman, Klara Shammai, a mother of 11 children who was reportedly in immediate danger of dying. Shammai spoke about the original video and says it was filmed three years ago, and that it changed her life, as she put it.

Shammai said: “After seven different types of chemotherapy that I had previously tried due to a tumor in my throat, the doctors all said that there was nothing left for me to do. I went to Rabbi Berland, and he spread an ointment on my throat where the tumor was. After just a few months I was healed in a miraculous way,” she claims.

As can be expected, followers of Berland immediately explained that it is perfectly permitted for a man to touch a women. They sourced a Sefer called “Minchas Yehuda”, written by a Mekubal in Iraq named “Rabbi Pataya”. Berland’s followers claim the Sefer states that “in order to heal someone you must place your hand on the location of the sickness in order to heal them and that this rule also applies to women”.

This is just the latest in a string of bizarre and troubling “Segulos” and never-seen before allegedly holy acts. Two weeks before Chanukah Berland was wrapped in his Tallis during Maariv playing with a Draidel during Davening. And on Chaunkah YWN published a video of Berland smearing oil from a menorah on the faces of children during Davening. Both of these incidents were described by his thousands of followers as very holy.

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.

Just a few weeks ago, Berland was an honored guest at the Spinka wedding in Bnei Brak, where the Rebbe was seen embracing and dancing with Berland as thousands of Chassidim danced and cheered (see video below).

Other Rabbonim continue to flock to Berland including Rav Reuven Elbaz, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Hachayim (see video below).

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




37 COMMENTS

  1. If a male Dr of nurse had done this very same thing, no-one would have said Boo. Clearly Rav Berland shlita was “Osek bMelachto” of curing this woman, and it worked, so he is a Tzadik Gomur as per the Posuk being read 4 times this week:- “veRapo yeRapei”. If this same woman had been drowning, and Rav Berland wouldn’t have dove into the river to save her, he would be classified as Chosid Shoteh.

  2. Why is this allowed to be published to be no better than a tabloid with its clever wording showing the very opinionated trial and jury of the author. It’s pure loshon hora and I strongly suggest no one further comments here I do not want to fan the fire of further loshon hora

  3. To me it sounds like. your nit picking. I’m not a poisik but don’t doctors touch woman to heal them. Was this woman supposed to call Ezras Noshim?

  4. Thanks again YWN for teaching the tzibbur who Berland (no need for the rabbi of course) really is.

    In the past people still didn’t want to believe the real truth about this רשע. But as time goes by more and more people are picking up ב”ה. He nebech ruined many peoples (of both genders) lives forever. He also brought up a generation with כפירה and רציחה and of course ג”ע. please everybody don’t start with לשון הרע and רכילות campaign. All of the above has been confirmed by a בית דין and the details will be released within the next few days. Besides for the many many רבנים who signed against this creep in the past.

  5. At this point, I’m not sure whats the point of running more stories about the perverted actions of this convicted abuser. Whats sad is that their are still some respected rabbonim who are willing to be associated with him. Why would the Spinka rebbe, who still has some following among his chassidim risk his reputation? What if a woman has a problem with “other” parts of her body? I guess touching her wherever is OK…. If you are a Breslov, anything goes.

  6. It is clear from the article that the author has an animosity towards Rav Berland and that anything he does is to be placed in bad light. I am not claiming to be a supporter of Rav Berlin and in truth am not sure what to believe concerning the accusations. They may be true, they may not be true. Hashem knows. I do not.
    However, one thing is for sure. The accusations stated here concerning this woman are no different than when a woman is by a doctor. In fact, please explain to us how a frum Jew can be a OBYGYN who looks and touches women in very private places. Even a GP needs to look at and touch women! How can a frum Jew be a GP accepting women? Why all of a sudden it is “different” when it comes to a doctor? Keep in mind that there are halachas concerning when a woman can see a male doctor being that even a doctor can’t be 100% trusted. If this action was filmed then it means there were others present which makes it much less problematic than being alone with a doctor in his office.

    Although Rav Berland may be guilty of the accusations claimed against him, non-the-less, we need to keep it real and keep things in there proper perspectives. Touching a woman’s face or throat with her permission is hardly what I’d call an offensive act of sexual molestation.

    Point #2 – Please explain why we haven’t heard Gedolim coming out against him. On the contrary, I’ve only seen the opposite on line supporting him. How can this be?

    Just to reiterate, I am neither for nor against the Rav as I do not know any of the facts. I’m just trying to keep it real.

  7. Someone please enlighten me,
    If the lady got rid of her illness then what’s the fuss All about? One is allowed to sell a SEFER TORAH for PIDYON SHVUYIM,

  8. This woman herself is an interesting fish. She is from a famous gangster family, she did teshuva, but she has a history of disturbances and arrests. She would go in public with a megaphone and blast people. Motsoh min es mino.

  9. If he did indeed save her life by putting ointment on the site of her growth, then failing to do so would be considered “Chossid Shoteh”. I understand that there are many such miraculous stories involving him and if so it’s not surprising that the forces of evil would go to great lengths to discredit him.

  10. What is YWN agenda against this Rabbi?
    if you are a news site, impartiality is imperative
    if you are a tabloid rename your site to YeshivaWorldToilet

  11. since when is rabbi berland a doctor? doctors may touch b/c that’s their profession. i’m sure rabbi berland could have asked one of his female cronies to smear the ointment.
    can you bring stories of ANY other great rabbonim who ‘touched’ other women to be able to cure them. they probably had other means… this touching business does not ring correct for a rabbi of any sort.
    it’s interesting to note, that such stories have NEVER been told about the Satmar Rebbe, Reb Moshe, Rav Ovadia, and neither Rav Kook…

  12. The man is clearly senile. Yes, the fact that his followers act like he should still be taken seriously is a problem. But, the implication that he’s always secretly been a creep and it’s just now surfacing is out of bounds.

    When the original allegations came out I suspected it was due to old age. My sister works with the elderly and many men, when they start to go senile, get inappropriate with girls (regardless of how respectable they were throughout life).

    He needs to be hospitalized and neither his followers nor the state are going to allow that. There will probably be many more stories like this to come; it’s a really sad way to have to leave this world.

  13. Does anyone know if ywn is a chabad ran website?? They seem to overly be be trashing this rabbi at every moment possible. I feel like its an anti breslov site.

  14. @breslover1 – did you create your alias just for this article? It is very clear to me that you are not Breslov in the slightest. No need for false advertisement. You could have gotten your point across w/o hiding behind masks.

  15. The man is clearly a fraud. What’s sad is that he has CULTivated his followers into believing he is a tzaddik & a mekubel. His is just a sick old pervert who has managed to manipulate & dupe a lot of decent people…. and probably more than a few crazies as well. Can YWN please stop posting about him – he isn’t worthy of the time it takes you to post it. And more to the point… we don’t care about this sicko.

  16. Klal Yisroel suffers from a serious problem. We have grown to deify leaders, and have abandoned any sense of moral judgment. While humanity is supposed to work on achieving perfection, there is no one alive that can profess to having successfully achieved that. But mistakes are mistakes, and finding a sentence or two to whitewash them is not excusable.

    No one here can attest to teshuvah of someone else. Whether Berland successfully did teshuvah on his past aveiros or not is none of our business. It is between him and HKB”H. Whether we choose to view everything he did and does as some sort of act of kedusha is a personal choice we make. This is not about being דן לכף זכות, nor is it about אמונת צדיקים. It is about painting the target around the arrow. I’m awfully sorry, but it does not work with me at all. We are observing the crossing of boundaries that have been crossed before, and we know this is a weakness that characterizes him. I don’t buy the “doctor” stuff. All kids played “doctor” at some point, and we matured past that.

  17. Thank you YWN for warning us about the dangers of this false leader who is nebach not well. Breslov was always considered to be a dangerous cult and their Sefarim were banned by Chasidishe and Litvishe Gedolim alike. They believe that it is possible for someone who died 200 years ago to be their current Rebbe and that believing in him will save you. Hashem Yirachem. We must not let these people these slip into the Torah community. Even the great Maggid HaRav Pesach Krohn shlita was tricked into taking one of their Mashpiem on one of his trips to Europe.

  18. etzhar
    February 5, 2018 7:20 am at 7:20 am
    Does YWN have a Daas Torah that it consults before presenting an article like this?
    ———————-
    Why would u care whether ywn has a dass torah(clearly a made up concept).
    If your dass torah disagrees with this article then dont read it and dont comment.
    Just curious , does your dass torah allow u to read blogs on line ? If yes , care to share who that dass torah is?

  19. etzhar
    February 5, 2018 7:20 am at 7:20 am
    Does YWN have a Daas Torah that it consults before presenting an article like this?

    Does Rabbi Berland have a Daas Torah that he consults before touching women ostensibly to cure them?
    Watch a single video of him davening and you will see your Tzaddik in a new light.

  20. This debate is becoming circular….those who believe that Berland and other so called “mekubals” will not be dissuaded any more so than the followers of other cults etc. But treating this as somehow “normal” or within the scope of daas torah or mainstream yiddeshkeit is really disturbing

  21. Takes2?Leyser I am a private person and I read YWN to avoid the need to go on non Jewish sites as much as possible. No I dont have Daas Torah for that. It is my reconciliation between my Yiddishkeit level and technology. I imagine I share that with many other people.
    My question was, that here is a public article about a person who I have never met, know little about and have no feelings for either way. I have heard the same reports about him that every one has but I understand that we are not allowed to believe them. But YWN which I like and have great respect for, is publicizing these issues. So it is quite fair to ask if they have a Daas Torah to do so.

  22. GH:

    Among several fundamental problems in our community, there is one that is both glaring as well as profitable. Among the “klai kodesh” who have huge earning potential, there is one called a “mekubal”. This distinction connotes absolutely nothing by way of true kedusha. The secular counterpart of this is the “psychic”. Shamefully, there are those who get such a label who are just as phony as the three dollar bill and the “psychic”.

    There is a marketplace for segulos that is exploited by so many worthy organizations, who recognize the public’s thirst for easy street that they jump onto the wagon to make a buck. I consider these ventures completely dishonest, though many of the sponsoring organizations are truly worthy tzedokos.

    The real segula for parnosoh is going to work. The next one is tefiloh. All the others, including Parshas Hamohn and countless others are quite inferior to these first two. Don’t take my word for it. Ask honest rabbonim and talmidei chachomim. The seguloh has evolved into the easy street, where one can expect to earn a wage by saying Parshas Hamohn, reciting certain pirkei Tehilim, and similar actions, while the pipeline to allow the shefa from HKB”H has a valve that has not been opened.

    The seguloh for good children is being a righteous parent. Eating fruit on Tu Beshvat is considerably less important, even though the fruit may taste great. Again, inquire from talmidei chachomim if you don’t believe me.

    We expect the “mekubal” to give us a “ruach hakodesh” answer to our problem. I am not saying they cannot give one. I am saying that our hishtadlus to seek the proper advice, treatment, evaluations, etc. is not given an adequate substitute by seeking this mekubal’s opinion.

    So it is very rational, and often Torah based to completely ignore all of these people. I have no problem respecting the true talmid chochom, and when their wisdom involves nistar, so much more so. But the cult that grows and thrives on this has nothing whatsoever to do with the requirements of the Torah. This faith healing stuff makes for good headlines and creates some rubbernecking. But it manages to create traffic and disrupts many other lives. When the gemora guides us to approach an Odom Gadol with a choleh, it says only ילך אצל חכם ויבקש עליו רחמים. There is no reference to the hokus pokus stuff.

  23. etzhar
    February 5, 2018 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm
    Takes2?Leyser I am a private person and I read YWN . No I dont have Daas Torah for that. It is my reconciliation between my Yiddishkeit level and technology. I imagine I share that with many other people.
    My question was, that here is a public article about a person who I have never met, know little about and have no feelings for either way. I have heard the same reports about him that every one has but I understand that we are not allowed to believe them. But YWN which I like and have great respect for, is publicizing these issues. So it is quite fair to ask if they have a Daas Torah to do so.
    ——————–
    I fully understand where u are coming from. However i have a question for you. Why are you asking about ywn dass torah now. There were plenty articles in the past where you should have asked about thier dass torah,and if you did and they didnt provide it , perhaps this site is not on your spiritual level.

  24. “Does YWN have a Daas Torah that it consults before presenting an article like this?

    Yes. All comments s are reviewed by the Modsehe Rebbeim (or “Mods” for short)……..They are all highly trained in CPR ( critical posting removal).

  25. @chilliworker2 – Rav Yisrael Salanter, z”l grab a woman buy the hand/arm and wouldn’t let go to prevent her from attempting suicide.

    Question for you: When Carlebach (smicha removed by R. Aharon Kotler, z”l) started to touch girls the Gedolim came out against him and Rav Aharon retracted his smicha. Rav Moshe, z”l wrote a Teshuva on whether one can listen to his music (you can).
    Where are all the outcry from our Gedolim against Rav Berland? Did Rav Eliyashuv, z”l come out against him? Rav Shteinman ,z”l? L’hbclc, Rav Kanievsky, shlita? Rav Ziberstein? Rav Auerbach? Rav Sternbach? Rav Tuvia Weiss? The Novominsker Rebbe? Rav Kamenetsky? The Vizhnitzer Rebbe? Gerrer Rebbe? Belzer Rebbe?

    Who can you quote me who has come out against him?

  26. Ywn to R Berland = CNN to trump
    Where does this obsession come from?? How can you call this a news headline with a straight face?
    Next week’s headline: ” Rav Berland eats crackers and fails to say al hamichya”
    Week after ” Rav berland wears suit jacket that doesn’t have a shaatnez label”
    Following week ” Rav Berland plans in his mind on shabbos what he’s gonna do after shabbos”

  27. Ocho:

    Your parallels are inaccurate.

    If you observed someone else touching a woman not his wife, you would recognize that there was an aveiroh being done. There is only one reason to understand this situation differently. And that is based completely on your belief that this man is special, exempt from halacha for some reason. This event was also recorded. There is no fake news about this. It is fact, that requires an explanation to somehow make it an exception. Well, many of us don’t buy that reasoning, and the event remains as a negative one.

    The examples you give here do not resemble the video of Berland at all. None of these events would be known if not reported by some headline. And they may actually be false. The video here tells a story that is clear. Are we to interpret it as acceptable because of some special dispensation that exempts him from halachic restrictions?

  28. TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
    All Gedolei Breslov went out against Eliezer Berland , for all the stuff that he has been doing the last 40 years , STOP calling this man a Tzaddik when there are so many things (besides women) that he has been doing k’neged the Torah and halacha.
    Growing up in a prominent Breslov Home I was always taught to stay far from him and from “Shuvu Banim” since it was known for its wild fanatical ways ,very different then the way taught in traditional breslov …
    Yep, unfortunately because the Rebbe Rabbi Nachman Ztl left a Way that speaks to so many thousands of people , his words and chizuk were made expecially for this generation ,
    but with it, there’s always the “hastara” that the yetzer hara puts it in and the “fake media” plays along with ,and then all people know abt ‘Breslov’ is Berland, Na Nachs, and some bums coming to uman to make trouble.
    So my dear Friends, You should all know that there’s thousands of Yidden around the globe that they are erlicher yirei shamayim and are Breslover chassidim that are committed to hashems Torah and have no sheiches to all the dirt from the outside, and at the same time are very warm and open to all who needs a good word or is looking for a deeper meaning in life and closeness Hashem.
    Remember just like not everyone that says there Jewish , is really Jewish and represents Judaism, so too not everyone that they say there Breslov is a Breslover and Represents the Chassidus , we have Rabbanim and Kehillos and you can find the closest to you..

  29. This guy is a lowlife and, as is the case often with these communities, they ignore the obvious. The guy who sought asylum in Zimbabwe is their hero?
    The cognitive dissonance of his followers is astounding. Truly.

  30. I agree with ‘a breslover chassid’ as I myself too am a breslover chassid. And let me tell u, growing up my family and rabbonim left me well informed that this man is nothing short of a lunatic and a great buffoon. He is sick in the head and should b hospitalized along with all his followers. As for na nachs, theyre just a bunch of drunkers that many of us like to refer to as ‘knock offs ‘ creating tremendous chilul hashem. Am I blaming him? no hes sick in the head. Hes a complete shoteh, a mishigunah. His followers? yes a bunch of mishiga’im but drunk ones do yes, I blame them for their disgusting acts of support towards this hooligan of a man. U wander y this man wasnt punished by hashem and the only answer i could think of is rasha vtov lo.

  31. There is only one leader in Breslov – the person they refer to as Rabbenu HaKodesh who has been dead for two centuries. Since it’s impossible for a dead person to lead a Chassidus, chaos has ensued and this is the latest chapter in a long history of chaos. Berland received huge Kovod this year in Uman. No “leaders” in Uman protested his presence. Having a relationship with a dead person is an illusion and leads to insanity. This is sadly a reminder.