Rabbi David Bar-Hayim on Foolishness Parading as Tora

The following is an example of foolishness parading as Torah followed by an updated letter by Rabbi David Bar-Hayim which relates specifically to a rabbi who is disseminating such foolishness:
Throughout the last three years’ of Rav Berlands exile, there were many indications from other leading figures and tzaddikim that the situation facing Am Yisrael was as bleak as indicated by Rav Berland himself. One such person was the kabbalist and Rosh Yeshiva from Bnei Brak, Rav Chaim Dovid Stern. In 2014, Rav Stern told his attendant that the previous year, he’d seen terrible decrees being made in Shemayim in relation to Israel’s enemies – so bad, that he’d even started telling the people who were visiting him that they didn’t need to worry about money any more, and that they should start giving all of their money away to tzedaka, because shortly there would be such a period of chaos and destruction descending on the world that money wouldn’t be worth the paper it was printed on.
Day after day, Rav Stern described how he could see how these decrees were gathering steam – until Rav Berland decided to take upon himself the terrible shame and criticism, and to leave Eretz Yisrael and go into exile abroad. According to Rav Stern, Rav’s Berland self-sacrifice is what cancelled these terrible decrees.
He continued that if there had been a tzaddik before World War II who’d have taken such harsh suffering upon himself, then there wouldn’t have been a holocaust. Unfortunately, none of the Tzaddikim who were alive at that time could have withstood such a difficult test. When Rav Stern heard from one of his yeshiva students how Rav Berland had been praying alone for hours in the African jungle, in places where no other person would come without an armoured jeep and a gun, Rav Stern said: “It’s because of his incredible kedusha! The animals don’t have any permission to harm him – not the animals, and also not the human beings!”
Over the last three years, Rav Stern has spoken out about Rav Berland on many different occasions. When he was giving a pep talk at the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva to the students of Rav Shalom Arush, Rav Stern gave over the following serious warning: “Woe to whoever speaks ill of Rav Berland, for they will be punished severely. All those who dare to speak ill of this tzaddik should fear for their lives, for they will all, without exception, receive severe punishments from Above. I knew him 40 years ago, and the way he learned with the Steipler was unmatched by any other. He is entirely holy.”
On another occasion, he said: “The final test before Moshiach comes is Rav Berland. Anyone who talks against him, or who believes the rumours being circulated about him, won’t merit to witness the imminent redemption of our people.”
Around the time that Rav Berland was detained in Holland, on his way to Uman just before Rosh Hoshana, Rav Stern told Rav Shalom Arush that the people who were slandering the Rav and spreading rumors about him should make some serious Teshuva, if they wanted to avoid the terrible fate that would otherwise await them. Rav Stern said: “I believe that Rav Berland could even hold his hand in the fire, and not be burned! [because of his high level of holiness].” (That’s actually what happened in Johannesburg on one occasion, when the Rav was reciting havdalah together with his followers, and realized that some of them were struggling with serious doubts and confusion about where the truth lay, in relation to the false accusations that had been made about him. After he’d said havdalah, the Rav placed his hand in the flame of the burning candle, and held it there for a good while, without his hand being at all burnt. The Rav turned to his confused followers and told them: “Don’t let all the suspicions and the rumors burn you up!”)
Rav Stern concluded: “The whole subject involving Rav Berland’s exile is connected to the deepest secrets of the redemption of Am Yisrael.”

And here is Rabbi Bar-Hayim’s updated letter:
My dear N:
I am going to share something with you. I leave it to you to decide whether it is worth sharing more widely.
I know this “Rav Stern”. He is, I am afraid to say, a well-intentioned ‘Am HaAress. A very kind and generous individual who, due to his family’s wealth, was always able to spend most hours of the day learning. I happen to know that his main areas of study were Mishnayoth and T’hillim.
So how exactly do I know all this? As it happens, he is married to my father’s second cousin Gitta, daughter of Reb Moshe Mandel, whom I got to know when I came to Israel nearly 40 years ago. Reb Moshe Mandel, promoted to “Super Tzadiq” status towards the end of his life, and to a greater degree posthumously, by various parties but particularly by family members, was my grandfather’s (my father’s father’s) first cousin. They knew each other briefly when teenagers and young men in Europe.
During my first or second year in Israel (1977-8), I was informed by a relative of mine that the Stern family in Bne Braq was related to me. I looked them up, and they were extremely kind to me. I was a yeshiva bahur without immediate family, and they welcomed me and let me know that I could come to them anytime. I spent many Shabatoth and Haghim at their place, as well as staying for weeks at a stretch during Ben HaZmanim. I thus had the opportunity to get to know Dovid Stern rather well. I recall that he was active in organising Tzedaqa packages for needy families.
After Reb Moshe Mandel’s passing, his tiny home was renovated and expanded and became a Kollel, and the deceased was turned into a “Super-Tzadiq miracle worker”. The family, very savvy and well organised, has built this into a booming business. A further Kollel was set up by the family, and my third cousin and contemporary, HaRav Meir Stern, a serious Talmid Hakhamim, became Rosh Kollel. It is considered one of the leading Kollels in Bne Braq, and I believe its reputation is well deserved.
About ten years ago, I began to become aware that the father of my cousin Meir, Dovid Stern, son-in-law of Reb Moshe Mandel, had morphed into a “Tzadiq” of renown. A few years ago I happened to see him mentioned in some Haredi newspaper as “the Tzadiq HaRav Dovid Stern”. Many years before that, another of my cousins, Meir’s younger brother Yehuda, told me that his father had become quite a guru, and was known for recommending to men to immerse in a mikwe 26 times. Yehuda mentioned that his father had a “unique approach and solution” for nocturnal emissions; this seems to be his main field of endeavour.
This latest story regarding Stern’s comments about Rabbi Berland is just one more sad but predictable chapter in the ongoing deterioration of Haredi sub-culture. It is truly lamentable that so many well-intentioned but gullible people are prepared to support this kind of sham masquerading as “Tora”. Stern’s inane comments alluding to the mystical nature of the Rabbi Berland affair – “The whole subject involving Rav Berland’s exile is connected to the deepest secrets of the redemption of Am Yisrael” – are an insult to the intelligence and bespeak a childish and grotesque conception of HASHEM, the Tora and the G’ula. Such drivel is lamentably all too common nowadays.
I wish to stress that the foregoing must not be construed as any form of comment or judgement on my part regarding the affair associated with Rabb Berland. I have no independent reliable information as to the facts, and media reports are not always trustworthy, particularly regarding well-known religious figures.
Shalom
David Bar-Hayim