Activists from the Shuvu Benim cult of the convicted sex offender Eliezer Berland on Sunday night broke up the Shimon HaTzadik celebration in Jerusalem over the participation of the most senior rabbinic prosecutor of sex offenders in the religious sector, the Chief Rabbi of Tsfat, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.
The rioters shouted insults at him, calling him a “Moser,” a halachic term referring to a Jew who informs on Jews, because of his prosecution in the Rabbinic Court of Rabbi sex offenders, and his encouraging of their victims to file criminal complaints with the police.
The rioters later sabotaged the electric and PA systems at the event and dumped an object from above in his direction. They missed him, but physically injured Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Arie King who stood next to him. King, who lost consciousness for a few minutes, was rushed to the hospital.
The hooliganism of Berland’s cult members became so vile, the event had to be discontinued.
Shimon HaTzadik served as the High Priest during the Second Temple period. He is mentioned in the Mishnah which describes him as one of the last members of the Knesset Hagdolah (Great Assembly).
The police eventually repelled the rioters, and two suspects were arrested for violating public order.
Rabbi Eliyahu, not a small Tzadik himself, told the assembled during the attack by the Berland cultists: “My teachers and rabbis, this is the best time to receive blessings! When there are some clowns here who sanctify the unclean in Berland, this is the time to bless. May the Holy One, blessed be He, bring blessing to all the people of Israel, holiness to all the people of Israel, joy to all the people of Israel, thanks to all the people of Israel, redemption to all the people of Israel! And so may it be, and we say, Amen.”
On November 18, 2016, Berland was convicted by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court after admitting to two counts of indecent acts and one assault. He was sentenced on November 22 to 18 months in prison.
On February 12, 2017, Berland was taken to the hospital for an urgent operation. He was later released to house arrest because of his health.
In February 2020, Berland was arrested for fraud after hundreds of people filed police complaints alleging that he had sold prayers and pills to desperate members of his community, promised to cure disabilities, and promised the family members of imprisoned people that their relatives would be freed soon.
During the arrest raid of his premises, police seized dozens of boxes of powders and pills that he had marketed as “wonder drugs.” Laboratory tests revealed them to be over-the-counter pain medication and candy.
On June 2021, Berland was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud in a plea bargain. The sentence included time served; he had spent a year in detention before being released to house arrest in February 2021. As he entered prison, a group of his supporters held a demonstration nearby.
May the name of the wicked rot.