As is clear from his words, and the words of other leading Breslev figures, including Rav Yaacov Meir Shecter, these three individuals have been waging a campaign of hatred and slander within Breslev circles against Rav Berland and his followers for decades. In light of their latest shocking escalation of events - sending falsified video and audio of the Rav to the Israeli media and police - Rav Motta Frank has finally decided to speak out against them.
Rav Frank is not one of Rav’s Berland students or close associates. Nonetheless, like any Jew who’s been watching the recent events surrounding Rav Berland unfold from the sidelines, he’s disgusted by the continued persecution and lies that are taking place against the Rav.
You can read the full, original version of this letter in the Hebrew on the Shuvu Banim website, HERE.
While the individuals are fully named in Rav Frank's open letter, I'm going to use just their initials below, to minimize the 'evil speech' I'm reporting as much as possible. Also, in terms of the lashon hara halachot, it's permitted to degrade individuals who have been proven in Beit Din to be causing harm to another Jew, as has been repeatedly been the case with the three people named by Rav Frank.
EXTRACTS FROM THE OPEN LETTER FROM RAV MOTTA FRANK: (Free translation)
Woe to us, from the day of judgment, woe to us from the day of reproof
“I hope very much that you will find amongst my words, if you want to, some peace of mind [about what’s really going on], and that we should only merit [to achieve this] , in the great merit of the yahrtzeit of the former leader of our group in a previous generation, Rav Levi Yitzhak Bender. With my own eyes, I saw how many times they would go to his house [i.e. Rav Bender] and come to him in shul, many ‘good ones’ from amongst our people, to speak evil tidings against Rav Lazer [Rav Eliezer Berland] and his people.
“Rabbi Levi Yitzhak listened and listened to them, and then I heard from him, and this was his wording: “What do they want? I get to shul before dawn and who do I find there? Rav Lazer’s people. Who goes to the field [do to hitbodedut, or personal prayer]? The men of Rav Lazer. Who do I meet in the mikvah before dawn? The men of Rav Lazer. What do they want?” May his memory be a blessing, and his memory protect us.”
“I’m going to speak frankly,” says Rav Frank, “only because you decided, and others like you decided, that he [Rav Berland] and his people, and all those who support him are ‘Sabbateans’ [i.e followers of a modern-day ‘Shabtai Tzvi’, or false messiah]. And only because you allow yourself to speak in such a lowly fashion any time that you mention Rav Lazer in your letters.
"And it seems that only because of this, LC and YTC and YTZ decided (and I’m sorry that I can’t bring myself to use the title ‘rabbi’ before their names, because when it comes to the sorts of things I’m about to discuss, it’s impossible to call them ‘rabbi’), that Rav Lazer is a modern-day ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ [i.e. a false messiah], Heaven forbid.
"And only because of this, they’ve apparently permitted themselves to stoop so low, and to try to kick a person while they’re already down. And they’re not embarrassed to stoop to the very lowest of levels, and to raise their hands against the Torah of Moshe Rabbenu (i.e. they’re going to secular courts that do not abide by Torah law.)
"And what’s more, they’re trying to make other people go to secular court, too, to testify against Rav Lazer, to participate in the investigation by the police, who are known to hate religion. [i.e. Judaism], about issues that have nothing to do with the investigation, solely with the aim of trying to make more trouble for him (I recently heard a recording of YTC trying to do this recently, with one of the people who is close to Rav Lazer.)...
"And the most terrible thing of all was to go to such a low level to publicly cause the embarrassment and humiliation of Rav Lazer, and all of his people in this way, to pass around a recording of a ‘false’ video (as is evident to everyone who really knows Rav Lazer), which they brought out in a back-handed, deceitful way, made up of old footage of Rav Lazer.
"And they passed this video recording to who??? Not to the rabbonim that sit on the throne of justice, with level heads and with pure yirat shemayim, and who make decisions with full cognizance that the ‘gates of Gehinnom are open below them’ should they make a mistake; and not to a Beit Din [religious court of justice] that’s made up of at least three dayanim [judges], who sit together and act in accordance with the halachic laws of investigations (hakira and derisha).
"Not only did they pass this recording to the police investigators behind closed doors, but to our great regret and embarrassment, they also passed this recording to who??? The Israeli television stations!!! In order to persuade the haters of Israel to aim their poisonous arrows of hatred against charedi Judaism, and to debase a Rabbi and his community, in such an evil way, and to cause millions of people to speak profanities in the worst way, and to have thoughts that he [Rav Berland] committed a terrible sin.
"Gevald! Gevald! Gevald! Hashem should have mercy.
"Who are the people [who are guilty of] spreading around profanity, and false accusations of sin, in a way that has never been seen before? Rav Berland, or LC, YTC and YTZ???
"Who? Think for yourselves [what’s really going on].
"Woe to us from the day of judgment, woe to us from the day of reproof.
"Anyone who has even a little bit of understanding about everything that is happening around us knows with certainty that the Rav is being persecuted, and is an innocent man. And more than this, that there is a lowly group that will not stop at anything, even the most degrading things, against this Tzaddik, the foundation of the world."
TO SUM UP WHAT THIS LETTER IS TEACHING US:
- There is a group of people within Breslev circles who have been pursuing a vendetta against Rav Berland for decades already (Rav Levi Yitzhak Bender died in 1989, to give you some idea of how long this has been going on.)
- Their main ‘issue’ with Rav Berland appears to be their mistaken belief that he’s some sort of ‘false messiah’, God forbid.
- These three are behind much of the most recent slanderous activity (and maybe even more - I don’t know all the details still) - including:
- The false statement where they faked the signature of Rav Yaacov Meir Shecter
- The falsified statement from Rabbi Nachman Berland, Rav Berland’s son
- The two false videos (and audio) most recently handed over to the Israeli media and police - which is so laughably and patently false, I’m amazed that any serious, honest journalist couldn’t see how badly it had been faked and cobbled together.
- These are the people Rav Shecter referred to when he said:
“We need to make it clear that these wicked people will not be ashamed to falsify further signatures and letters in the future, because this is their foolish way, and they are strengthened by their own lies. And certainly, they will falsify my signature to attack the contents of this letter, which I’ve written with the blood of my heart…..
Therefore, this warning should also be for the future that in every place where my signature appears on this matter, which contains hatred and machloket, and which is against halacha, and against the path of Rabbenu HaKadosh (Rebbe Nachman), you should surely know that it is falsified, because I have always acted according to the way of Rabbenu, to distance myself from machloket, and to pursue peace and truth, according to Hashem’s will.
To those that are known troublemakers and stirrers, we have nothing to say to them, because their ears are blocked from listening. I have already begged them so much to quench the terrible fires of hatred that burn within them, but their heart is closed and blocked, and their hatred overcomes everything else.”
5. These are also the people that Rav Sheinfeld referred to when he said:
“I'm here to tell you that I know all the background [about this matter] from the inside-out, and how the person responsible has devised a number of cowardly, negative rumors and intrigues.
I'm writing to warn you to not believe any libels or false claims, without first verifying the other side's account, in accordance with halacha, and particularly when we're dealing with an individual like this...who is delusional [or this word could be translated as 'fallacious / deceptive'], and is deluding / decieving other people along with him.”
The person Rav Sheinfeld is referring to here is YTC - who happens to also be his son-in-law.
6) Recently, the kabbalist Rabbi Chaim Ezra HaCohen Perachya (often called ‘the Milkman’) put out a statement naming YTC explicitly, and forbidding anyone to believe anything he has to say in connection with Rav Berland.
7)The reason the media is not giving you any sources for the terrible, libelous things they printing about Rav Berland is because the ‘source’ is these same three people each time, and the media and the Israeli police already know they are unreliable and falsifying statements, as this is now the THE THIRD TIME they’ve been caught in the act (in the last two weeks...).
Yet Arutz Sheva, Ynet, Jpost et al are refusing to acknowledge that they’re printing lies; are refusing to print any retractions; and are refusing to print any more balanced statements - like this one, from Rav Motta Frank - that are clearly putting the libel about Rav Berland into a much clearer framework.
8)All the big, real rabbis support Rav Berland. They always have, right from the start of this whole, sordid affair. I’ll have more to say on this in another post, BH.
TO SUM UP THE SUMMING UP:
There is no ‘confession’; the videos were cobbled together (very badly…) from old footage; the media is getting their ‘information’ about Rav Berland from known liars and slanderers who have had a vendetta against Rav Berland for more than 30 years’ already, and are passing it off as ‘fact’ without checking it despite the fact that they’ve now been proven to be printing lies and enormous libels three times in a row, just in the last two weeks.