Rabbi Eliezer Berland appealed to the two chief rabbis of Israel in a letter today requesting that they attempt to arrange for his release.
Rabbi Berland is being held until the end of proceedings after an indictment was issued against him for sexual harassment and assaulting a number of women.
“I am in poor health and it’s hard for me to stand on my feet, I don’t know if I can survive this horrible suffering,” Berland wrote in a letter to Channel 2.
In the letter, Berland claims he is innocent and that he has been falsely accused, stating that those who accused him were conspiring against him and making accusations about deeds that never crossed his mind.
Berland stated that he pleads to the rabbis from a dark place, after spending a lengthy period of time suffering in his dark cell.
“I’m turning to you with a broken heart," he wrote, "I am a victim of false accusations. In my life I have never broken the law. I have given my entire life to the community.”
“I want to protect my innocence in court and prove that there isn’t a grain of truth in the accusations against me, which is why I returned to Israel with the belief that I would find justice. The libels and false claims against me are causing me deep pain. I am turning to you to beg for my release and I hope you will do your best to aid in my release, so that I can defend myself with honor,” Berland wrote.
Berland, a prominent Breslov Rabbi and the founder of the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, fled Israel in 2013, spending some three years evading extradition. He was finally taken into custody and flown to Israel in July of this year.