Rabbi Eliezer Berland was arrested in February of this year for recommending that a woman follow a healthy diet to cure her cancer. He also accepted a $5,000 donation to pray for her in what is known as a pidyon nefesh. Rabbi Berland is a prominent Rabbi who prays night and day for people. Thousands of people flock to him every year asking for help with all sorts of problems. He has put himself on the line time and time again to help. He visits the homes of the sick, bringing them hope. He helped people I know with sincerity and self sacrifice. He and his wife live very simply.
The true story is that this woman and her husband didn't want chemotherapy for her cancer. She had gone the traditional cancer treatment route and was becoming more and more ill. She went to the Rabbi for help. He recommended a healthy diet and prayer. She and her husband embarked on that path and she began feeling better. Her mother objected, she wanted her daughter to get chemo. The mother intervened and her daughter caved into her pressure. She underwent chemo and died a few months later. Her mother claims that it was the Rabbi's fault that her daughter waited to get Chemo and had she gotten chemo earlier she would have lived. The Rabbi was jailed for extortion and has been jailed since.
This whole case makes no sense. The woman in question was a full grown woman making her own decisions. In no way were she or her husband forced into anything. Her husband was interviewed and described the hope that she and he felt when they began eating healthy and praying together. She slowly felt herself gaining strength. He described that after she received chemo she began coughing up blood until her health deteriorated and she died.
This case is essentially the medical establishment trying to regain control of a steadily growing population of individuals who want to pursue alternatives to traditional Cancer treatment. Rabbi Berland was arrested for going against the health care system. He is not alone. Rabbi Yuval Asherov, another prominent Israeli Rabbi who is also a naturopath, was blasted all over the media for recomending alternatives to Chemo for his patients. Alternative cancer treatment clinics have been raided and shut down in Israel for decades. The same in America.
WHy is is that medical doctors are never jailed for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatments that fail? How many people do you know that have died following Chemo treatment? Why are their doctors not arrested for extortion? What about the thousands of people that the doctors gave up on? Doctors don't understand that beneath the body lies a soul, that the power of hope and belief is so strong that it can overcome anything. Do they deny the millions of miraculous recoveries that have occurred thanks to hope and prayer? There is no such thing as false hope. The whole point of hope and belief is that "reality" doesn't define or confine us. Rabbi Berland gives hope to many people that have none.
Rabbi Berland has been hounded by the Israeli police for decades. Stories have been fabricated against him repeatedly. He was severely tortured in prison. The claims against him have been false from the start. I hope and pray that he will be released soon.