Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Berland Shuvo Banim Scandal


I am not into the Breslover Baalei Teshuva Rabbi Berland Movement at all and many times I have critisized Rabbi Eliezer Berland for demanding 1000 Dollar from an ordinary person who wants to ask him for advice. Many times I have been attacked by people who are part of this particular movement or followers of another Rabbi of this kind, Lazer Brody.

Now, Rabbi Berland's Baal Teshuva Yeshiva "Shuvo Banim" in the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City has its scandal and it is mainly the haredi press jumping on it. Of course, there are articles by the secular press in Hebrew. In HAARETZ or in today's YEDIYOT ACHARONOT. Nevertheless, the haredi press seems to be more interested. There are different reasons for doing so: Rabbi Berland is very controversial among the real Breslover Chassidim from Mea Shearim. Lots of Breslover internal politics are involved and sometimes it is hard to figure out who is fighting who. Nothing is perfect on the Baal Teshuva sector because money and the strive for power play an important role.

The first video shows how Berland's bodyguards deal with people coming to his Yeshiva or special events. How the guards select people and how they beat others. How security cameras took over and what kind of a role the Rabbi's son Nachman Berland and his grandson Natan played. Natan obviously spoke openly about sex and drug abuse. There are also claims that Natan Berland took money from the Yeshiva.

Here are PART 2 and  PART 3 !

Natan Berland is talking about sex and drugs.

After the above videos were published, the Berland family denied its authentity. Everything would be a lie and the videos are faked. Now Rabbi Eliezer Berland himself spoke to his Chassidim on the phone and claimed that he was not locked away by his family but took a break due to his mental health problems. He does know about the violence of the guards and now wants to be closer to his followers and not being kept away (by his son and grandchild) anymore.

Who has an interest in releasing the first three videos showing what is going on at "Shuvo Banim" ? It obviously had to be an insider. Just look at the photos of the security cameras. Some say the Gabbaim have an interest but who knows. 
However, I know one thing for sure: I would not spend any money in order to see Rabbi Eliezer Berland. Not even 5, not even 2 Shekels ! 

Further Links:


  1. I've always known this - the whole Berland group is a kind of weird anomaly, it's a big joke nobody really takes serious. They're a shame and disgrace to the name of real Breslover chassidim.

  2. B"H

    The Breslovers in the Great Breslov Synagogue in Mea Shearim are probably happy that they didn't accept him into their circles when he demanded to sit on Rabbi Nachman's chair.

  3. This is just the outer layer of the story. There is much more involved than what those outside Shuvu Bonim see.
    The Rav himself is innocent...it's the people that were controlling him like a puppet that are at fault. Those days are about to end soon B"H.

    Just be careful that this blog post should not be a cause and beginning for Loshon Hara.

  4. B"H

    Why don't you direct your complaint to the beating guards ?

  5. I was in the Shuvu Bonim kehilah for over 7 years. During this time, I was an Avrech at Shuvu Bonim for 3 years.

    I did see miracles. At the same time, the Rav. could snap his fingers and stop all of the corruption in less than a second. This doesn't happen. As such, I left the community.

    Everything there revolves around theivery and sheker.

    However, this is not a reflection of Rebbe Nachman or his writings. Rather people perverting the Torah for money and their own personal gain.


  7. We Have the Same Problem in Lakewood NJ Where Gavriel Finkel who is an Uncle To Rav Malkiel Kotler Uses His Position as Head Of Vaad Hadayonim To Bully People. Incidently This Gavriel Finkel Who Runs The KCL Kashrus Orginization In Lakewood Is also an Uncle To Moshe Finkel of Shevach Treife Chicken In Monsey ny

  8. B"H

    In the meantime, Rabbi Berland has another scandal but I haven't found the time yet to write about it.

    I am aware of the importance Lakewood Yeshiva but how far are the Kotlers' still involved.