The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday extended the arrest of Rabbi Eliezer Berland for eight days.
During the court hearing, Berland’s lawyer complained that his client isn’t feeling well because he just underwent a catheterization. In response, the judge said: “Give him Mentos or Tic Tacs!,” a barb to Berland since news reports said that police discovered that some of the “medications” provided by Berland’s followers to patients and their families were Mentos candies.
Berland and his underlings were arrested this week on charges of exploitation, money laundering and tax evasion, an ongoing intrigue that was originally revealed by a Channel 13 News investigation. Israel Police has collected over 200 testimonies against the suspects.
A new video showing Berland and his associates exploiting people with medical issues was published by Channel 13 News on Wednesday.
Last summer, Berland and his assistant met with A., who requested advice on a certain medical issue. A. brought NIS 3,000 for a short meeting and bracha from “the Rav” but Berland wasn’t pleased with the amount and as can be seen in the video, he wanted NIS 4,000.
The meeting took place in the home of Nurit, who was participating in the investigation against Berland.
A. told Berland about the pain she suffers and he promised her that he’ll heal her: “I guarantee you – you’ll be completely healthy right now.”
When A. told Berland: “I didn’t go to a doctor because I’m scared of doctors,” Berland answered her: “Don’t go to any doctor. I’m taking responsibility for you. You have nothing to fear. You’ll be completely healthy like Shimshon H’Gibor, like a wild ox and the Levyasin. In another two weeks, I’ll smear something on you. I’ll touch you and you’ll be healed completely.”
A police representative said during a court hearing that the Channel 13 News investigative report “opened a Pandora’s Box” and that the police investigation that followed raised suspicions of the tax offenses the suspects have been charged with. Israel Police said there are over 200 witnesses against Berland and 20 investigative cases against him.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)