by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
I read this report on Life in Israel today. What’s disturbing about it is not the topic under discussion but that two (supposedly) ultra-orthodox religious news outlets are reporting exactly OPPOSITE positions and directional words from a Torah leader. We need to be aware that this is happening, and as it was reported Rav Kanviesky said, ‘if you didn’t hear it from me, don’t believe it (in my name)’…
Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, head of Shuvu Banim and a leading Breslev rav, spoke out on the issue of women wearing shawls and full body coverings (the burqa women).
There are conflicting reports as to what he said. Initial reports claimed Rav Berland spoke in favor of the shawls, saying that all women should be wearing shawls and that they are adding holiness and purity. It is prohibited to look at the shape of a woman, even if she is wearing a thousand coverings. Women, Rav Berland supposedly said, should not go outside and walk around in the streets - it is assur to see a woman even if she goes with a thousand shawls and a thousand covers.
Then Bechadrei got an actual recording of his shiur in which he (supposedly) said this and found he said the opposite! According to this report, Rav Berland said those who go in shawls are building a beis hamikdash of lies, just like Chonyo built a false beis hamikdash. When a woman works on her holiness she does not put on a shawl. The shawl is meaningless. A woman who does not daven shacharis mincha or maariv wants to be considered a tzaddika so she puts on a shawl. Then another woman who davens shacharis mincha and maariv every day and sits at the Kotel for 4 hours every day saying tehillim is no longer called a tzadika. There are some women who wear the shawls who can't even hold a siddur. She puts on a shawl and suddenly she is the leading tzadekkes of the generation???
The topic itself is a very very very controversial topic and not the point of this article. The point that there are two completely conflicting reports with one of them completely twisting a Torah leader’s words for their own agenda or opinion.