Jun 25, 2019

reputation laundering by the beis din of beis dins

A beis din appointed by a group of prominent batei din, making this the ultimate beis din of beis dins, a joint task force of sorts, is going to be investigating into the affairs and crimes of Eliezer Berland, leader of a cult within Breslav.

This beis din of beis dins published a letter informing the public of their intentions to investigate, with the agreement of Berland himself, and that in the meantime both sides should immediately stop any hatred and accusations against the other side and not publish anything negative about the other. Anybody with a claim or complaint should come to the beis din and lay it all out before them for consideration. The letter is signed by representatives of the various appointing batei din and by prominent rabbis who are members of this beis din of beis dins.

I am not sure what they feel they need to investigate. The investigation was already done by the police. What is this beis din going to add to that? Much of what was discovered about Berland is online and available for the public to view on Youtube. He has publicly confessed to at least some of his crimes. What more does this beis din want or expect to be able to determine? What are they capable of determining? Does the beis din have the necessary skills to investigate such heinous crimes? Do they have access to the victims to call them in to testify against him, and to persuade them to come and testify again if they dont want to, thinking they had already put this behind them?

And what can their decision possibly be in light of an investigation? Even if they say he is guilty, then what?

Why would Berland agree to this investigation, and to putting himself and his future in their hands? He would agree to it because he knows the risk is negligible. The worst case scenario is that they confirm what the police and courts already determined - that he is guilty. Then what? What can they do to him?  Whatever they say is unenforceable, and he can continue living his life as he wants to no matter what they say.

But that tiny bit of risk is infinitesimal. Berland is in a no-lose situation, and he stands to gain a lot. Just by holding the investigation, they are already showing him honor. he was given honorifics in the letter. He is an important person. And he knows that since there is nothing new for them to discover or add to what is already known by the public, this is going to be a whitewash. Either they will clear him of all wrongdoing and say he was framed, or they will give him a slap on the wrist and say he has since done tshuva and already suffered enough anyway, or they will say his confessions were forced or were confessed when he was sick and not in a clear state of mind.

Berland has everything to gain by this investigation and nothing to lose. This is pure reputation laundering.

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  1. "Much of what was discovered about Berland is online and available for the public to view on Youtube."

    ... which is why Berland is looking forward to an investigation by Rabbonim who would not be aware of that which is easily available on the internet -- and never will know about it. And, as you said, aside from no internet access, also lack access to victim testimony and official investigations. Win Win for the Berland team!

  2. that reads as a parody, with every big name bais din in Israel. Are you sure it's legit?


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