Rabbi Berland stopped at airport on way to Uman

Rabbi Berland prevented from leaving country despite permission to visit Uman for Rosh Hashanah by parole board.

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Rabbi Berland
Rabbi Berland
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Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the founder of the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem and once a leading figure in the Breslov hasidic community, was detained at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday afternoon after one of the complainants against him filed a request to prevent him from leaving the country.

On Monday, a parole board ruled that Rabbi Berland would be permitted to leave the country to visit the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine over the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Thousands of Breslov hasidim and others visit Uman for the High Holidays every year.

As a condition for his trip abroad, the parole board has ordered Berland to post a 740,000 shekel ($210,000) bond to ensure that he returns after the holiday, Behadrei Haredim has reported.

Berland, 80, fled Israel in 2013 after he was accused of sexually molesting two female followers.

Over the next three years, Rabbi Berland evaded extradition, travelling across Europe and Africa with a coterie of followers.

After his capture and extradition in 2016, however, Berland agreed to a plea bargain arrangement with Israeli prosecutors, pleading guilty to two counts of indecent acts and one case of assault.

Last November, Rabbi Berland was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but was released to a hospice five months into his sentence, where he could receive regular treatment for serious health problems he has suffered in recent years.

A few months ago, Rabbi Berland expressed remorse for his actions. In an interview with Channel 10 television channel Amnon Levy, Rabbi Berland said, "I take responsibility for what happened, I am willing to accept any punishment in the world, including burning me and stoning me because that is Torah law. The punishment that was meted to me was perhaps too light, and I am willing to accept a greater punishment."

In every hearing that took place, I told the judge that I wanted to be brought to trial. I want to take the opportunity to ask forgiveness from the complainants," he said.








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