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Sainte Agathe Des Monts, Quebec - Report: Glimpse Inside Lev Tahor Sect Alarming

Published on: August 14, 2012 08:53 AM
By: VIN News Staff
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Sainte Agathe Des Monts, Quebec - A controversial figure for many years, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, leader of the extremist Lev Tahor sect, a group of forty five families living in Quebec’s Sainte Agathe des Monts located sixty miles north of Quebec, continues to be the subject of media scrutiny, as alleged extreme practices that take place within the group have some referring to Lev Tahor as the “Jewish Taliban.”

A recent article  in Israeli news source Israel Hayom delved deeply into Lev Tahor and its leader, casting the spotlight on what appear to be very disturbing practices practiced by the group in Canada, Israel, Europe and the United States.

Approximately 250 people are part of the Lev Tahor community in Sainte Agathe, with includes an estimated one hundred children.  The community itself is contained within a four block radius of a mostly Catholic city in the Laurentian mountains and members are completely isolated from the outside world.  Helbrans himself is a fifty year old baal teshuva who does not have any proof of his rabbinical ordination.  Helbrans made news when he was convicted in 1994 of kidnapping thirteen year old Shai Fhima, a New Jersey boy who came to study with him before his Bar Mitzvah, two years earlier.  After serving his prison sentence, Helbrans was deported to Israel in 2000 but relocated to Canada three years later, claiming his life was being threatened in Israel.

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Lev Tahor has been described by some as an onion, with the outward layers appearing benign, while the inner layers conceal something much more sinister.  Helbrans and his aides control when community members eat, sleep and encourage community members to betray each other. 

A couple of ladies belonging to the Lev Tahor group visit Bentzy's Food Depot, Sainte Agathe Des Monts, August 18, 2011A couple of ladies belonging to the Lev Tahor group visit Bentzy's Food Depot, Sainte Agathe Des Monts, August 18, 2011

Speaking with people who successfully managed to extricate themselves from Lev Tahor and others who visited family members with the community, Israel Hayom heard disconcerting reports of Helbrans and his assistants using violence, physical and mental manipulation to control his followers, which included forced marriages and divorces between community members, arranged marriages between minors as young as fourteen and children being subjected to ruthless beatings.  Other harsh punishments used to enforce compliance were also described: forcing people to wear shoes that were too small, separating parents from their children at the age of just six months and forced use of psychiatric drugs.

Many community members are baaley teshuva, looking for acceptance within a religious environment.  Others come from difficult situations and the charismatic Helbrans showers them with warmth and attention until they sever all ties with their families and only then does Helbrans warns them that they will lose their share in the next world and suffer all the curses described in the Torah should they choose to leave the fold.

All females are clad from head to toe in black, with only their faces visible from the age of three, while boys have their heads, except for their payos, shaved weekly once they turn three. Women are only permitted to leave the complex to give birth and even then they are accompanied by a female community member who ensures that no extraneous conversation takes place with medical personnel.  Helbrans names every baby in the community and has been known to change the names of adult members as well.  According to reports, both parents and teachers are known to routinely punish children by striking them with their hands, belts and even wire hangers.

Shidduchim are arranged by Helbrans at age twelve or thirteen and because of the young age at which marriages are performed they are not legally registered with the Canadian government until the age of eighteen.  Refusing a shidduch ordained by Helbrans is a serious offense and according to one source, a fourteen year old girl who refused her “intended” was punished for an extended time with imprisonment in a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero.

Nutrition is a serious issue at Lev Tahor, with Helbrans deeming both chicken and even eggs unkosher, saying that due to genetic engineering chickens have been altered to such an extent no longer considered chickens and are therefore not kosher.  Only peeled vegetables may be eaten out of a fear that perhaps the peel may have touched something not kosher and only recently did Helbrans decide that both corn and soybeans were kosher.


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Read Comments (64)  —  Post Yours »

2

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:03 AM ALTERG Says:

Give me a break, this things can't be true

3

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:15 AM Miss A. Says:

I was there about 2 yrs ago. It literally freaked me out. All the girls and women were totally clad in black. When they saw a man passing by they would pull a cover over their face, even as young as 3!!!
They would not speak to us but tried to run away when we approached.
I couldn't sleep for nights after that visit and still worry about the children being born there.

4

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:26 AM Motzei Shem Rah Says:

This is for the most part untrue as I've gone there many times and feel I am welcomed into their community although I do not dress like them. I think I am more qualified than the writer of this article to comment and I think it is nobody's business too criticize their way of life. As far as I know the children aren't hit and all seem very happy and carefree. If a child is suggested a shidduch, but, doesn't want it, he/she does not have to go through with it. They do get married young, but not as young as the article suggests. They do not lack nutrition as they have a variety of fruits, vegetables, milk, duck eggs, fish and meat to eat. They also use vitamin supplements (kosher brands, of course). Their ties to their families are not severed. They can visit their families for simchas and other events and they get visitors from outside all the time. Their mode of dress was chosen by the women themselves. It has evolved over the years to what it has become now, but, it wasn't imposed on them by Rabbi Hellbrans. They seem happy to dress that way and are not telling everyone else to do so, so why does it bother anyone?

5

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:30 AM thecommissioner Says:

This is nothing even close to Skver. Skver may be living under rocks, but this guy is just nuts. Skver minus the fire bombings, are just practicing the "old shtetle". This nut has made up his own religion according to his own ideas.

6

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:33 AM SeichelHayushor Says:

I wanted to go there ones for a simcha and my friend there told me that I will not be able to leave the place because the place is like magnetic...

7

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:34 AM Motzei Shemm Rah Says:

Continued from previous comment -

When I visit or anyone else does, we wear our regular clothes and no criticizes them. In fact I always get compliments on what I am wearing.
They are fellow Yidden like everyone else and although they seem extreme, they chose their way of life and are not trying to recruit anyone to join them, so why is everyone so against them?
Just as we should love all fellow Yidden, we should also include them. If we want to bring Moshiach we have to accept all Jews equally. Why should they be considered any different than Modern Orthodox who don't always dress tsniudik, Lubavitch, whose ideology doesn't always agree with the rest of us? Or Satmar, "Yeshivish", Sephardi or any other group?
The people there are warm and friendly and happy and I like them. You have look beyond their exterior and you will find they are just like everyone else and they are not Martians.

8

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:34 AM Stickpick Says:

Sick and dumb. Reminds me of elior C hen. It's time to arrest him and jail him in a 20 below

9

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:39 AM fat36 Says:

u have to take them down.makes me want to go their and give him a beating

10

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:42 AM Butterfly Says:

Why can't they arrest him? Take away his citizenship??

11

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:49 AM PMOinFL Says:

Lev Tahor has nothing to do with Judaism. This "rabbi" may not even be Jewish. He is a cult-leader and a fraud and always has been. Every Jewish organization on earth should be rebuking them in public as no different than the David Koresh cult in Waco, or the Jonestown cult. We should be keeping a spotlight on this fraudster as much as possible and call this what it is: A CULT.

This "rabbi" is a VERY dangerous man who uses mind-control techniques to pray on the weak minded.

Believe it or not, it is VERY easy to start a cult if you want to. All it takes is a few lost souls willing to have a boatload of children for you.

12

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:50 AM RamapoJew Says:

at least until they start the firebombing

13

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:24 AM Asifah Says:

I don't hear anybody asking for an asifah to save those familes from this monster, he himself will only change after we make a yom tefilah on his behalf, he is nebech a sick man, but let us save those families that he brain washed into his colt.................

14

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:07 AM Crazykanoiy Says:

Haaretz ran a 2 part series on Lev Tahor earlier this year. The Haaretz article seemed to paint a more nuanced picture.

15

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM chosen-nation Says:

This is how NY will look like in the future?

16

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM shimonyehuda Says:

sounds like a super cult to me are we sure they are jewish?

17

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:28 AM Anonymous Says:

All you "pundits" who have made your comments. You are obviously not Ohavei Yosroel, if you can talk so disparagingly of a community or a person who you obviously have no real knowledge of, just hearsay. You don't have to live there, you just ought to have the same Ahavas Yisroel for them as you ought to have for any other id, otherwise you are a hypocrite.

18

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:38 AM yosefben Says:

Continuing from #14 - from the HaAretz article: "Aside from these statements, in recent years there has been no direct and verified testimony that these things are indeed happening. Not from any of the dozens of people who were interviewed for this article. Nor have any complaints to this effect been filed with the police.

They claimed to have evidence of the terrible things that are happening in the community. I spoke with dozens of them. Most of the evidence was about the same controversial episodes from 20 years ago."

Rabbi Helbran's woes began when several prominent Hasidim left their groups for Lev Tahor - if the allegations for the past 20 years are tru then re-arrest Rabbi Helbrans...until then this type of reporting is lashon hora.

As R Helbrans said "“The search for truth is the purpose. And at its base there exists the assumption that one could also be wrong. Otherwise, there would be no search,”

19

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM Purple Princess Says:

A girl in my school (in Monsey) was forced to get engaged at 15 while she was in 10th grade! The family ended up getting help and they were able to leave his cult.

20

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:45 AM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #3  
Miss A. Says:

I was there about 2 yrs ago. It literally freaked me out. All the girls and women were totally clad in black. When they saw a man passing by they would pull a cover over their face, even as young as 3!!!
They would not speak to us but tried to run away when we approached.
I couldn't sleep for nights after that visit and still worry about the children being born there.

The comment below seems to contradict your version, however, regardless of that mozie shem ra commentator suggests, this Helbronz guy is as dangerous as they come; he simply takes advantage of all lost souls, as do all cults. And for that it is indeed very much any Jews business to try to properly guide these lost souls. The comparison to Lubavitch, MO, etc. is just pathetic, as all are segments of true Judaism with sort of a mesorah, of at least a couple generations, and have a board of Rabbis as well, etc. Whereas, this self ordained BT "rabbi" seems like just another cultist, speaking in the name of Judaism, and for that he should be denounced by every Jewish group. we are not speaking of another extreme Neturie Karte type group, this is just another extreme cult, with all its elements , claiming itself as part of Judaism.

21

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM Reb Yid Says:

Sounds like an "ends justifies the means" kind of guy.

Did anyone in the group wonder why no other yidden live this way, or whether any gedolei yisroel approve of this lifestyle?

22

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM yaakov doe Says:

The absurdity of " a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero"., makes me question the credibility of the writer. Highly unlikely that a basement could be that cold and impossible for anyone to survive any length of time at 20 below zero.

23

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #16  
shimonyehuda Says:

sounds like a super cult to me are we sure they are jewish?

There are lots of questions as to whether or not this "rabbi" is even Jewish as he refuses to answer questions about his past. He also refuses to state from where his smicha comes from. That should tell you everything you need to know.

24

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM it's a cult Says:

It sounds to me like a cult, even if some visitors are made to feel comfortable.
Questioning the Jewishness of any of the participant, even Helbrans', is not only not called for, it makes these susceptible people feel even more isolated from mainstream Judaism.

25

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #4  
Motzei Shem Rah Says:

This is for the most part untrue as I've gone there many times and feel I am welcomed into their community although I do not dress like them. I think I am more qualified than the writer of this article to comment and I think it is nobody's business too criticize their way of life. As far as I know the children aren't hit and all seem very happy and carefree. If a child is suggested a shidduch, but, doesn't want it, he/she does not have to go through with it. They do get married young, but not as young as the article suggests. They do not lack nutrition as they have a variety of fruits, vegetables, milk, duck eggs, fish and meat to eat. They also use vitamin supplements (kosher brands, of course). Their ties to their families are not severed. They can visit their families for simchas and other events and they get visitors from outside all the time. Their mode of dress was chosen by the women themselves. It has evolved over the years to what it has become now, but, it wasn't imposed on them by Rabbi Hellbrans. They seem happy to dress that way and are not telling everyone else to do so, so why does it bother anyone?

You sound like a believer yourself.

Cult followers are usually very feeble people. They are broken souls who base their entire existence on their ability to please others. So, to you they seem very kind and friendly but all you see is the facade that they are actually trapped behind. The cult leader is always charismatic and likable in public.

The leader of a legitimate religious group does not coax young teenage boys to run-away from home. The leader of a legitimate religious group does not refuse to answer questions about his family, the yeshivos he attended, or which one granted him smicha.

Even the women of Jonestown used to write about the beauty of life and their "family". Even in their suicide notes they were still writing about the "joy" they feel.

Your paragraph is an obvious defense of a cult that you, yourself, believe in. This "rabbi" is a dangerous, manipulative sociopath. Anyone who has ever looked into this group knows exactly what it is: A CULT.

We all know the kind of manipulation this "rabbi" uses. We weren't born yesterday!

26

 Aug 14, 2012 at 12:02 PM Not Motzei Shemm Rah Says:

Reply to #7  
Motzei Shemm Rah Says:

Continued from previous comment -

When I visit or anyone else does, we wear our regular clothes and no criticizes them. In fact I always get compliments on what I am wearing.
They are fellow Yidden like everyone else and although they seem extreme, they chose their way of life and are not trying to recruit anyone to join them, so why is everyone so against them?
Just as we should love all fellow Yidden, we should also include them. If we want to bring Moshiach we have to accept all Jews equally. Why should they be considered any different than Modern Orthodox who don't always dress tsniudik, Lubavitch, whose ideology doesn't always agree with the rest of us? Or Satmar, "Yeshivish", Sephardi or any other group?
The people there are warm and friendly and happy and I like them. You have look beyond their exterior and you will find they are just like everyone else and they are not Martians.

So why didnt you stay? at least you wouldnt have access to the internet to defend this known barbarian. The guy is an am hooretz destroying many lives.

27

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM Heimish Says:

What you read here is your average "Heimish" community of the future if self appointed power hungry askanim get their way.
and ydishkeit as a whole will be completely destroyed.

28

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:12 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #7  
Motzei Shemm Rah Says:

Continued from previous comment -

When I visit or anyone else does, we wear our regular clothes and no criticizes them. In fact I always get compliments on what I am wearing.
They are fellow Yidden like everyone else and although they seem extreme, they chose their way of life and are not trying to recruit anyone to join them, so why is everyone so against them?
Just as we should love all fellow Yidden, we should also include them. If we want to bring Moshiach we have to accept all Jews equally. Why should they be considered any different than Modern Orthodox who don't always dress tsniudik, Lubavitch, whose ideology doesn't always agree with the rest of us? Or Satmar, "Yeshivish", Sephardi or any other group?
The people there are warm and friendly and happy and I like them. You have look beyond their exterior and you will find they are just like everyone else and they are not Martians.

Thank you for your posts. I admit I don't know the first thing about Lev Tahor group or their leader, but upon reading this article, knew that it couldn't possibly be true, not even an exaggeration. Also, in "consider the source" department: Israel Hayom is a thoroughly secular publication, the kind from which no seriously religious group of Jews ever gets a fair treatment.

As always, I will reserve my judgement until I know more from the reliable sources.

29

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:45 PM whataworld Says:

Reply to #22  
yaakov doe Says:

The absurdity of " a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero"., makes me question the credibility of the writer. Highly unlikely that a basement could be that cold and impossible for anyone to survive any length of time at 20 below zero.

This is Canada smarty pants. In that part of the universe the temperature is measured by celsius.

30

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:49 PM Insider Says:

Reply to #22  
yaakov doe Says:

The absurdity of " a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero"., makes me question the credibility of the writer. Highly unlikely that a basement could be that cold and impossible for anyone to survive any length of time at 20 below zero.

My sentiments exactly! basements never get that cold because they are below the ground. It is pure made up stuff. I know who they are referring to and girl's parents say it is absolutely untrue. I know the girl and have seen her and she acts perfectly normal. If this had actually happened she would be totally traumatized.

31

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM MTL Says:

Reply to #22  
yaakov doe Says:

The absurdity of " a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero"., makes me question the credibility of the writer. Highly unlikely that a basement could be that cold and impossible for anyone to survive any length of time at 20 below zero.

In this part of the world, we use celcius. Freezing by us is 0 degrees, where by you it would be 32. 20 below is normal during the winter in Montreal. It's warm up in Ste. Agathe. Imagine when it's in a dark basement...

32

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM whataworld Says:

Reply to #7  
Motzei Shemm Rah Says:

Continued from previous comment -

When I visit or anyone else does, we wear our regular clothes and no criticizes them. In fact I always get compliments on what I am wearing.
They are fellow Yidden like everyone else and although they seem extreme, they chose their way of life and are not trying to recruit anyone to join them, so why is everyone so against them?
Just as we should love all fellow Yidden, we should also include them. If we want to bring Moshiach we have to accept all Jews equally. Why should they be considered any different than Modern Orthodox who don't always dress tsniudik, Lubavitch, whose ideology doesn't always agree with the rest of us? Or Satmar, "Yeshivish", Sephardi or any other group?
The people there are warm and friendly and happy and I like them. You have look beyond their exterior and you will find they are just like everyone else and they are not Martians.

watch out you look like you're doomed to end up there one day. Mr H is known to be extremely charismatic. A hatzola volunteer that was their once on a call told me that it's allot worse than depicted in this article. It's horrifying what goes on over there. There is a reason why he fled Israel and Monsey.

33

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:06 PM chicagomaven Says:

Reply to #22  
yaakov doe Says:

The absurdity of " a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero"., makes me question the credibility of the writer. Highly unlikely that a basement could be that cold and impossible for anyone to survive any length of time at 20 below zero.

This is in Canada. They mean 20 below Celsius, not Fahrenheit, not that 10 degrees is warm!!

34

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:37 PM soxfan Says:

Shlomo and his wife, Malka, are the worst kind of people. Liars and frauds who prey on weak-minded adults or impressionable kids from broken homes. Shlomo has no respect for law, either civil or Halacha. I know them both from BP and personally witnessed their cruelty and utter disregard for anyone other than themselves.

35

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:47 PM vinanon Says:

Reply to #30  
Insider Says:

My sentiments exactly! basements never get that cold because they are below the ground. It is pure made up stuff. I know who they are referring to and girl's parents say it is absolutely untrue. I know the girl and have seen her and she acts perfectly normal. If this had actually happened she would be totally traumatized.

Do you have any idea what traumatized looks like? Take it from someone who has been repeatedly beaten with wire hangers, locked in basements and worse - some victims' appearance belie the atrocities done to them and saying it's impossible or a lie just adds insult to injury - quite literally.

36

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM In the Know Says:

Reply to #26  
Not Motzei Shemm Rah Says:

So why didnt you stay? at least you wouldnt have access to the internet to defend this known barbarian. The guy is an am hooretz destroying many lives.

I don't have to live there to side with them. My point is that they don't bother you, you don't bother them. They have a right to live Yiddishkeit the way they want. They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.). I like them and I like to visit there. It doesn't mean that I have to live their way, but, I don't talk badly about them like everyone else. I don't believe all the loshon horah I hear from the media about other Yidden. It is always exaggerated to make a sensational story.

37

 Aug 14, 2012 at 03:52 PM vinanon Says:

Reply to #36  
In the Know Says:

I don't have to live there to side with them. My point is that they don't bother you, you don't bother them. They have a right to live Yiddishkeit the way they want. They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.). I like them and I like to visit there. It doesn't mean that I have to live their way, but, I don't talk badly about them like everyone else. I don't believe all the loshon horah I hear from the media about other Yidden. It is always exaggerated to make a sensational story.

So are you saying that if the weak and vulnerable are systematically being abused and brutalized, it is none of our business? "Live and let kill" so to speak?

38

 Aug 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM Bugs are in the head Says:

Reply to #36  
In the Know Says:

I don't have to live there to side with them. My point is that they don't bother you, you don't bother them. They have a right to live Yiddishkeit the way they want. They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.). I like them and I like to visit there. It doesn't mean that I have to live their way, but, I don't talk badly about them like everyone else. I don't believe all the loshon horah I hear from the media about other Yidden. It is always exaggerated to make a sensational story.

I "did" live near him when he lived on Butterman Court in Monsey. I personally know a lady that was “forced” to marry someone she didn’t want.
I don't mind how he lives his life, but he is preying on poor souls looking for more in ydishkeit and using them for his twisted personal gain. its my business and its yours to stop this monster.
I can tell from the examples you picked how on track you are, no surprise you are defending him.
Also, Please explain what a reliable hechsher is. I've work as a substitute mashgiach for many companies, and my father is a menaker for over 20 years, and what I learned is shocking.

39

 Aug 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM Bugs are on the head Says:

Reply to #36  
In the Know Says:

I don't have to live there to side with them. My point is that they don't bother you, you don't bother them. They have a right to live Yiddishkeit the way they want. They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.). I like them and I like to visit there. It doesn't mean that I have to live their way, but, I don't talk badly about them like everyone else. I don't believe all the loshon horah I hear from the media about other Yidden. It is always exaggerated to make a sensational story.

Continuation:

why is it ok for you to say
“They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.)”
how can you speak loshon hora on "many other jews" while defending a terrorist because its loshon hora??? do I need to continue? or did I expose you enough? go do some searching of you own. and stop defending this guy.

40

 Aug 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM vinanon Says:

Reply to #36  
In the Know Says:

I don't have to live there to side with them. My point is that they don't bother you, you don't bother them. They have a right to live Yiddishkeit the way they want. They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.). I like them and I like to visit there. It doesn't mean that I have to live their way, but, I don't talk badly about them like everyone else. I don't believe all the loshon horah I hear from the media about other Yidden. It is always exaggerated to make a sensational story.

I'll bet you are one of those who think it is your business when a group of strangers choses to live in a way that you don't approve of. You are surely the first to go out an protest when a grave is being dug up or someone in Poughkeepsie wants to legalize their same-sex relationship. But when women and children are being abused, we should ignore it because after all, they don't eat lettuce with bugs.

41

 Aug 14, 2012 at 05:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
whataworld Says:

watch out you look like you're doomed to end up there one day. Mr H is known to be extremely charismatic. A hatzola volunteer that was their once on a call told me that it's allot worse than depicted in this article. It's horrifying what goes on over there. There is a reason why he fled Israel and Monsey.

Isn't Hatzolah required to report abuse to the authorities? I don't understand how in this day and age this type of thing can go on with impunity for this long? Where are the authorities? Why is this not being reported to law enforcement?

42

 Aug 14, 2012 at 05:53 PM manwith1leg Says:

whatever happened to d'rocheho darchei noam?

43

 Aug 14, 2012 at 06:23 PM Secular Says:

קשים גרים לישראל כספחת

In my opinion, today this applies to Ba'alei Teshuva.

44

 Aug 14, 2012 at 07:51 PM some1 Says:

Reading all these comments, i think all the names who are trying to defened this guy, i think this is all 1 person, the rabbi himself, you think he doesnt have high speed internet at home? His chasidim for sure are not allowed to have internet, so who is writing all these comments??? thought.
I was a few times there, its realy dangerous, i know much too much stories...

45

 Aug 14, 2012 at 08:20 PM JosephKaplan Says:

I honestly have a hard time buying that this is true. If all this was really going on, how come relatives/friends of the victimes haven't created a public outcry? I'm 30, been frum my whole life, and never heard of this guy before. But if it is true... could we possibly have been worrying about chasuna takanos and facebook, when horrors like this were happening in our midst? Maybe I'm naive...

46

 Aug 14, 2012 at 09:50 PM some1 Says:

Reply to #30  
Insider Says:

My sentiments exactly! basements never get that cold because they are below the ground. It is pure made up stuff. I know who they are referring to and girl's parents say it is absolutely untrue. I know the girl and have seen her and she acts perfectly normal. If this had actually happened she would be totally traumatized.

harav Insider,
You say; I know this girl and I saw her, are you really a insider?? Through the black covers??? Allowed????
And you know the girl what this article is preferring to, so you admit this is a true story only how really low was the temp.

47

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM goldy3 Says:

Very strange'How do they make cakes witthout eggs?If the women can't "leave the complex"how do they go to the store(look at the photo)?How it is possible for the water pipes not to burst by 20 below zero?
I leave 3 miles away and I go quite often there do daven,and according to my knowledge,every word of this report is a big lie.

48

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:38 PM Rangers Goalie Says:

Reply to #25  
PMOinFL Says:

You sound like a believer yourself.

Cult followers are usually very feeble people. They are broken souls who base their entire existence on their ability to please others. So, to you they seem very kind and friendly but all you see is the facade that they are actually trapped behind. The cult leader is always charismatic and likable in public.

The leader of a legitimate religious group does not coax young teenage boys to run-away from home. The leader of a legitimate religious group does not refuse to answer questions about his family, the yeshivos he attended, or which one granted him smicha.

Even the women of Jonestown used to write about the beauty of life and their "family". Even in their suicide notes they were still writing about the "joy" they feel.

Your paragraph is an obvious defense of a cult that you, yourself, believe in. This "rabbi" is a dangerous, manipulative sociopath. Anyone who has ever looked into this group knows exactly what it is: A CULT.

We all know the kind of manipulation this "rabbi" uses. We weren't born yesterday!

"or which one granted him smicha."
Will you get off the "smicha" thing! What difference does it make to you? Even if he had smicha from YU or Hebrew Union College or Satmer, you wouldn't care anyway about what he says. (maybe from Hebrew Union College you would) He is still way more learned than you are anyway! Smicha is a joke today anyway.

49

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM schwartzi Says:

Reply to #11  
PMOinFL Says:

Lev Tahor has nothing to do with Judaism. This "rabbi" may not even be Jewish. He is a cult-leader and a fraud and always has been. Every Jewish organization on earth should be rebuking them in public as no different than the David Koresh cult in Waco, or the Jonestown cult. We should be keeping a spotlight on this fraudster as much as possible and call this what it is: A CULT.

This "rabbi" is a VERY dangerous man who uses mind-control techniques to pray on the weak minded.

Believe it or not, it is VERY easy to start a cult if you want to. All it takes is a few lost souls willing to have a boatload of children for you.

Jim jones,anyone?

50

 Aug 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM some1 Says:

Reply to #47  
goldy3 Says:

Very strange'How do they make cakes witthout eggs?If the women can't "leave the complex"how do they go to the store(look at the photo)?How it is possible for the water pipes not to burst by 20 below zero?
I leave 3 miles away and I go quite often there do daven,and according to my knowledge,every word of this report is a big lie.

goldy3, to my understanding you are a woman, 1)your name goldey 2)your mind goes to cooking and stores.
You go daven there in middle of the week sometimes?? Its not shabbos because you live 3 miles away.
And how do you know what they do at home if you come only once in a while davening?
And to my knowledge, davening there takes 6-8 times longer then normal, somebody told me a simple maariv takes 2 hours, there is a paper hanging on the wall how long every piece in the davening has to take, so if you daven there you are a insider not an outsider,
I think you are the lier.

51

 Aug 15, 2012 at 09:31 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #48  
Rangers Goalie Says:

"or which one granted him smicha."
Will you get off the "smicha" thing! What difference does it make to you? Even if he had smicha from YU or Hebrew Union College or Satmer, you wouldn't care anyway about what he says. (maybe from Hebrew Union College you would) He is still way more learned than you are anyway! Smicha is a joke today anyway.

It makes no difference to me. He is nothing more than a cheap imitation of Jim Jones and David Koresh.

You claim he is "more learned" than me. That is definitely POSSIBLE. He also may have no understanding of Torah whatsoever and is making it up as he goes along.

I don't know why you are defending this guy. He is a known criminal and fraudster.

As for the smicha thing, it makes a big difference to me when a criminal is running around Montreal claiming to be "leader" within Orthodox Judaism. If he were calling his cult "The Cult of Lettuce" and he dressed like a Roman centurion, I wouldn't care. BUT when he dresses like us, when he claims he is one of us, when he makes public statements that will be perceived as coming from US, he has a responsibility to tell us who he is. At this point, many people aren't even sure he is actually JEWISH!

If this man is committing fraud, we have an obligation to stop him. If he is luring Jews into a cult, we have an obligation to stop him (lifnei iver). If this man is stealing Jewish neshamos, we have an obligation to stop him and speak LOUDLY against him.

If he wants to tell us who he is and where he comes from, we'll listen.

52

 Aug 15, 2012 at 09:53 AM Queen B. Says:

Stop defending this man!!!
I have pictures and my family has saved a person from this cult. I can provide vosizneias with my email address.
To soxfan #34.....As far as I know his wife Malka has left him and fled.

53

 Aug 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #36  
In the Know Says:

I don't have to live there to side with them. My point is that they don't bother you, you don't bother them. They have a right to live Yiddishkeit the way they want. They certainly aren't violating any issurim like many other Jews are in kashrus (bugs in produce for those who aren't careful enough and rely on unreliable hechsharim, improperly schechted or treibored meat perhaps, tsnius etc.). I like them and I like to visit there. It doesn't mean that I have to live their way, but, I don't talk badly about them like everyone else. I don't believe all the loshon horah I hear from the media about other Yidden. It is always exaggerated to make a sensational story.

not when they are abusing children. and or not allowing people to leave. BTY they are not living any type of Yiddishkeit or Judaism.

BTY as others have said many cult groups do a very good job of training their members to be overly friendly and to look very happy. I am sure if you visit the westboro Baptist Church in their houses you would say the same or the cult in waco

54

 Aug 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM Rangers Goalie Says:

Reply to #51  
PMOinFL Says:

It makes no difference to me. He is nothing more than a cheap imitation of Jim Jones and David Koresh.

You claim he is "more learned" than me. That is definitely POSSIBLE. He also may have no understanding of Torah whatsoever and is making it up as he goes along.

I don't know why you are defending this guy. He is a known criminal and fraudster.

As for the smicha thing, it makes a big difference to me when a criminal is running around Montreal claiming to be "leader" within Orthodox Judaism. If he were calling his cult "The Cult of Lettuce" and he dressed like a Roman centurion, I wouldn't care. BUT when he dresses like us, when he claims he is one of us, when he makes public statements that will be perceived as coming from US, he has a responsibility to tell us who he is. At this point, many people aren't even sure he is actually JEWISH!

If this man is committing fraud, we have an obligation to stop him. If he is luring Jews into a cult, we have an obligation to stop him (lifnei iver). If this man is stealing Jewish neshamos, we have an obligation to stop him and speak LOUDLY against him.

If he wants to tell us who he is and where he comes from, we'll listen.

If , if, if, if,. To many if's to accuse someone of doing things that are wrong. BTW many and I do mean many "rabbi's" do NOT have smicha, and some are our biggest gedolim.

55

 Aug 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM goldy3 Says:

Reply to #50  
some1 Says:

goldy3, to my understanding you are a woman, 1)your name goldey 2)your mind goes to cooking and stores.
You go daven there in middle of the week sometimes?? Its not shabbos because you live 3 miles away.
And how do you know what they do at home if you come only once in a while davening?
And to my knowledge, davening there takes 6-8 times longer then normal, somebody told me a simple maariv takes 2 hours, there is a paper hanging on the wall how long every piece in the davening has to take, so if you daven there you are a insider not an outsider,
I think you are the lier.

You are wrong on everything beside the fact that I don't know what they are doing at home and I doubt anybody knows.
P.S. A simple maariv takes 45-50 minutes.
I am a man and my name is Nachum Eleazar.
I have been there a few times Shabbath.
Until recently I had a chiouve and went three times a day to say Kadish.
A regular Caharith takes 3 hours.
The paper hanging on the wall is also true.
A lier.

56

 Aug 15, 2012 at 06:04 PM Anonymous Says:

to anyone who claims they have a chiyuv to warn others of the "danger" this rabbi is to others is not only being motzy shem ra, but, making false claims without knowing the facts. How can someoen be a danger to anyone who doesn't cross his path? Being as the community is remotely located there is no reason to be afraid of them (if there were a real danger) as no one is likely to go there by mistake. If some nosy bodies go there to snoop around, well, who asked them to?

57

 Aug 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM this1isnottaken Says:

Reply to #4  
Motzei Shem Rah Says:

This is for the most part untrue as I've gone there many times and feel I am welcomed into their community although I do not dress like them. I think I am more qualified than the writer of this article to comment and I think it is nobody's business too criticize their way of life. As far as I know the children aren't hit and all seem very happy and carefree. If a child is suggested a shidduch, but, doesn't want it, he/she does not have to go through with it. They do get married young, but not as young as the article suggests. They do not lack nutrition as they have a variety of fruits, vegetables, milk, duck eggs, fish and meat to eat. They also use vitamin supplements (kosher brands, of course). Their ties to their families are not severed. They can visit their families for simchas and other events and they get visitors from outside all the time. Their mode of dress was chosen by the women themselves. It has evolved over the years to what it has become now, but, it wasn't imposed on them by Rabbi Hellbrans. They seem happy to dress that way and are not telling everyone else to do so, so why does it bother anyone?

don't say this article is not true its. im from Canada original and i saw them and spoke to a lot of the people who live there. i was there last week i wanted to show my wife there place and she couldn't believe it i even stopped a few people i spoke to them and im not even talking about the fact that most if them are depressed but the sad part is that when i spoke to a yingerman and after convicing him for 5 min that im not there to make fun of him he spoke to me and he was looking around in fear it was just sad to see and hes teeth hashem yerachem (from not eating properly) and don't say that nothing is wrong with them cause i don't know what you see but when i saw the women there. it was like they were crying for some1 to help them. every time i pass by there i drive in and it doesn't get old its still shocking to see the women dress in heavy black clothing when its smoking hot outside. i can go on and on about the wrong things that are going on there from my personal experience that i saw with my own eyes not from reading on vin or any other paper so please get lost (and im being so harsh to you cause you are so very wrong we shouldn't let this go on even for another day)

58

 Aug 15, 2012 at 09:12 PM this1isnottaken Says:

Reply to #56  
Anonymous Says:

to anyone who claims they have a chiyuv to warn others of the "danger" this rabbi is to others is not only being motzy shem ra, but, making false claims without knowing the facts. How can someoen be a danger to anyone who doesn't cross his path? Being as the community is remotely located there is no reason to be afraid of them (if there were a real danger) as no one is likely to go there by mistake. If some nosy bodies go there to snoop around, well, who asked them to?

please you have no clue whats going on there. and who cares if they are in a remote location. if there's only one man that wants to leave from that place and cant cause hes afraid then we the Jewish people have an obligation to stop this and i can tell you from passing by there a few times and seeing how the women shlepen zech with big heavy black clothing doesn't matter young or old, hot or cold. and i myself spoke with a few of the yingeleit that some of them want to run from that place and even the ones who don't are chaleshing to speak to outsiders but they are afraid and that's from personal experience. its a sad story there that's all there is to say

59

 Aug 16, 2012 at 01:40 AM LKF Says:

My classmate from Montreal got married at 14 and went to live there!

60

 Aug 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM In The Know Says:

Reply to #59  
LKF Says:

My classmate from Montreal got married at 14 and went to live there!

Yeah? Who is your classmate? I know all the women and girls there and no one who is 14 from Montreal got married there.

61

 Aug 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM soxfan Says:

Reply to #52  
Queen B. Says:

Stop defending this man!!!
I have pictures and my family has saved a person from this cult. I can provide vosizneias with my email address.
To soxfan #34.....As far as I know his wife Malka has left him and fled.

Back in the old days Malka got physical with anyone who tried to confront Shlomo, including the police and the FBI agents. If she has in fact fled from him - that says a lot about the conditions at Lev Tahor.

62

 Aug 16, 2012 at 09:51 PM In The Know Says:

Reply to #61  
soxfan Says:

Back in the old days Malka got physical with anyone who tried to confront Shlomo, including the police and the FBI agents. If she has in fact fled from him - that says a lot about the conditions at Lev Tahor.

She has not fled. She went to visit her elderly parents who aren't well. Now she is back at home. Why is everything blown up out of proportion?

63

 Aug 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM thunder2020 Says:

Reply to #22  
yaakov doe Says:

The absurdity of " a basement whose temperature hovered at twenty below zero"., makes me question the credibility of the writer. Highly unlikely that a basement could be that cold and impossible for anyone to survive any length of time at 20 below zero.

That's the point!

64

 Aug 17, 2012 at 04:14 PM Anonymous Says:

It is forbidden to besmirch someone's name. The main reason people speak loshon horah is to give themselves self importance and they do this by putting others down so they can seem "bessere mentchen".

65

 Dec 09, 2013 at 11:01 AM Anonymous Says:

This cult received $4.3M from an unnamed charitable organization?

It was a real-estate deal that was masterminded as how to launder the money and use it to purches some properties, for others!!! same time by doing that (using their tax exemption) they avoided the taxes that was due to the Canadian goverment, that had Rachmonus and took in this monster Shlomo Hell-branz into Canada. The person who they did this laundering for, gave them a nice cut $$$$$$$$$$$

This might be shocking,because after all this cult is very holy, but Nachman (the son of the gangster who led this elegal project) knows it's true!!! this is not made up, Cult leaders when you get caught you will feel the pain that you have caused to so many inisint women and children.
---------------------
"Lev Tahor’s Rosner refused to say who provided the $4.3 million but confirmed it was for an unspecified development that “didn’t work out.” thats a lie Rosner is looking for a way out of this. why would he refuse to name the contributer? because they broke the lay by "money laundering".

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