Jerusalem – An elderly Israeli rabbi who is serving the remainder of a shortened prison sentence under house arrest because of an illness has said that he deserves capital punishment as outlined in the bible in retribution for the crimes he committed.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2oq7Nbn) 80 year old Rabbi Eliezer Berland, head of the Shuvu Bonim yeshiva in Jerusalem, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted on two counts of sexual assault.
He was granted an early release from prison in order to undergo cancer treatments and will remain at a convalescent home at Hadassah University Hospital for the duration of his sentence.
In an exclusive interview with Israeli Ch. 10 News (http://bit.ly/2pdIWbi), Rabbi Berland said that he accepts full responsibility for his actions and welcomes the opportunity to apologize to his victims.
“I am ready to face any punishment in the world,” said Rabbi Berland. “I am ready for them to burn me and stone me, which is the law of the Torah. The penalty I was given was perhaps too lenient and I am ready to accept a harsher punishment.”
Rabbi Berland also said that he has ordered his followers on many occasions not to harm his victims in any way.
“Their anguish must be respected,” said Rabbi Berland. “I am ready today to go back to jail.”
While Rabbi Berland may no longer be behind bars, he remains under full house arrest, with any changes to his current arrangement requiring the parole committee’s approval, according to Arutz Sheva (http://bit.ly/2qwMeKL).
A decision handed down by an Israeli court ordered Rabbi Berland to pay the full cost of his stay at the convalescent home as well as the associated expenses for a special security team that has been tasked with ensuring that Rabbi Berland complies with the conditions of his release.