Lev Tahor: The Questioning begins.

In order to focus not only on the desolation that surrounds this case, this page will echo and relay some alternative views that are now emerging and which are providing a much needed counterbalance to the savagery which has characterised much of the commentary thus far, within and outside of Canada.

Readers' comments on the article:
When Hasidic Boys Grow Up Without Real School. 
By Frimet Goldberger | The Jewish Daily Forward | March 11, 2014, 2:45pm

Aliza 2008

I agree the lack of secular knowledge of these young men is deplorable. But at the same time, do they need to know what a pectoral is? They don't plan on leaving their community, so why do they need to know what our community knows? And why target the education of only this group? Insular religious groups all have issues with education that deprive their members of what we consider common - and necessary - knowledge. The Amish only educate up to 8th grade, and their focus is on teaching hard work, cooperation and community. Do any of the Amish children know what a pectoral is? And chances are, many Amish would need English to be translated into Pennsylvania Dutch or Hochdeutsch. English has become far more common, and most speak it now, but that's more out of politeness for their "English" neighbours than a desire to know the language.

That said, it is encouraging that the one young man wants to become an electrician. I hope he finds someone he can apprentice with, because I doubt he's getting into trade school.

Sydney Pfeiffer
In the Supreme Court case "Yoder" where the question of state decreed education vs religious education came up, (dealing with the Amish in Wisconsin), the question is whether the religious oriented education conformed with societal roles of good citizens (law abiding, etc. yada yada). The Amish won.
And that is the basis of governments' approach to religious education.
We may decry the lack of secular knowledge but the overwhelming majority of Chasidim are law-abiding persons and contributing to society. Many are successful in their fields and they can put us in the backseat when it comes to chesed/charitable projects.
Let's try to think positive.

Tevie Molochnikov
A lot of kids of their age just as illiterate about these matters, but at least these kids speak several languages, have their minds expanded by text studies, logic trained by Talmudic discussions, and their drive to good is stimulated by chasidus.

formerly orthodox
absolutely right. And there is no shortage of successful tradesmen and businesspeople among the Chassidim either. And their philanthropy is absolutely astounding. I say this as someone who LEFT that community 20 years ago.

Frimet, I am tired of your Ortho-bashing - you do it with humour to show your utter lack of respect. If you really believe in changing the system, than please take it seriously! We could really use a calm knowledgeable voice for reform who doesn't think everything is a joke. The boys in the video are mensch's btw - shame on you for elevating pop-culture's critical agenda of humorous self-centered journalism above the eternal values of Torah, righteousness and emes.

Moe Ginsburg
Check out Wisconsin v. Yoder. Religious groups are Constitutionally permitted to refuse to follow State education requirements and may have their children not go to high school altogether. The Chasidim have strong legal grounds.

Yes because a life without a comprehensive Western secular education has been scientifically proven to be a life not worth leading. Americans, who speak English, the language in which the Universe was created, are the most perfect beings imaginable. Furthermore, it is criminal for a society not to teach their children how to exit that society and reject its values. That is why every public school child is taught Yiddish and Talmud so they can easily become a member of a Hassidic community, as well as hunting and fishing and the Tapirapé language so they can leave America and easily integrate into the Amazon rain forest if they so choose.

Frimet, I'm glad you found a life you find fulfilling. Please don't call everyone who isn't interested in your way of life a criminal. And realize that no society (unless forced) teaches its members how to function in another society. But the big societies can criminalize that practice on the part of the small societies. What a great idea!

Tevie Molochnikov
And that is precisely what these kids are- they multilingual(Yiddish, Hebrew, Aramaic, some English) and educated in very complex legal and textual subjects and they working on their moral and spiritual qualities. They just don't confirm to author's idea of education. So, if Mexican doesn't speak English in US and deemed to be just as educated in his own language, and continues to receive education in US in his native language, what is so wrong with these kids?

Reader's comment on the article:
Lev Tahor members arrested for immigration issues, children's aid society says.
By The Canadian Press -Winnipeg Free Press | Posted: 04/2/2014 1:19 PM

4:21 PM on 4/2/2014
"The seven people arrested are known to have 28 children, Doig said. Kids in cases where both parents in a family have been detained and there is no alternate caregiver are now in care, Doig said, though he did not say how many kids were in children's aid custody."

This is a very important legal issue. This act is considered by Social Services across Canada as policy.
This policy is a criminal act. It's the act of kidnapping.

Now imagine the other legal ramifications this causes.
You are no longer free to profess your innocence. Your children are held to insure your cooperation. Your children are held until you sign acknowledgement of your wrong doing.

Your children are held until you agree to terms of the return of your children. Those terms include the surrender of your children should you break the terms.

Your innocence or guilt become mute as your negotiating for the return of your children.

That is the second criminal act.

A third criminal act is the conspiring to carry out this act.
"Chatham-Kent Children's Services co-operated with the CBSA, who arrested seven Lev Tahor members"

4th and 5th criminal acts are very common in the continuation of these acts.

Now consider a family who's parents had robbed a store.
You cannot carry out criminal acts to catch a criminal. That is the law. Plenty of case law to support this. Robbing the store charges must be dropped.

The cost to society is very high when these laws are ignored.

Readers' comments on the article:
Police seize seven adults from Lev Tahor group amid ongoing child-welfare dispute. By Patrick White | The Globe and Mail | Wednesday, Apr. 02 2014, 3:26 PM EDT

Rockin' Rio
A pretty strange situation which raises some important issues about the role of the state ("parens patriae") and the role of parents in raising children.

On the one hand, parents should have the right (and responsibility) to raise their children according to their own moral, ethical and societal values...

Where is the line to be drawn between parental autonomy and societal responsibility?

Are children to be removed from the home because the parents hold unusual or unpopular beliefs?

If the standard is supposed to be some sort of harm test, where do you draw that line?

Setting aside one's feelings about groups such as Lev Tahor, where do you draw the line between public and private when it comes to raising children?

Hugh McNeil
It does make a mockery of the legitimate concept of freedom of religion that the children here could be seized from their family groups.

Rockin' Rio
If the test is physical harm, that's fair enough-- no one can justify that on the basis of religious belief. But my sense is that some of the concern goes beyond physical harm. Is emotional harm sufficient? How is it defined? When is the line crossed? It's not the more obvious cases that concern me, but the cases that may fall into a grey area.

Readers' comments on the article:
Lev Tahor members arrested for immigration issues. By Allison Jones | CTV News | Wednesday, April 2, 2014 2:21PM

Apr. 2, 2014
4:19 PM
It is really sad to see that the Jewish community is still being targeted for their beliefs and how they dress. I have met many of the families personally, the children are happy and healthy and well taken care of. Before you pass judgement on them due to all the media sensation take a minute and get to know them,they will welcome you into their homes and answer your questions.I believe you should treat people the way you want to be treated,and I don't think any of us would want to be treated this way. Please think before you judge.

What is the motivation?
Apr. 2, 2014
2:46 PM
There are so many other religious based communities in Canada and repeated investigations have demonstrated children and women are very vulnerable in these communities. No one seems to give attention to those groups but the focus is on this specific community. Could the opposition of leaders of this community against Zionism be a motivation for our pro-Israeli government to go after them and expose them to media? I am not defending their lifestyle but I am questioning this excessive focus of our governmental agencies on this group while other groups are left alone.

Reader`s comment on the article:
Lawyer sees ulterior motive in Lev Tahor arrests.
By Patrick White | The Globe and Mail | Published Thursday, Apr. 03 2014, 4:31 PM EDT

There is more to this issue than "apprehension of 14 Lev Tahor children stemming from allegations of poor hygiene and insufficient education standards". Indeed the lawyer for the Lev Tahor may have point and there may be a ulterior motive in the arrest. According to some research the history of the group and their subsequent immigration to Canada goes back to their distaste of the Zionist Regime in Israel and I suspect that the regime has a long arm and has somehow turned this issue into a political issue. 

Reader`s comment on the article:
Lev Tahor actions deemed “repulsive” by Jewish community.
Extremist sects, no matter their beliefs, have a sad history of child exploitation.
By Bernie Farber |  NOW | April 3-10, 2014 | VOL 33 NO 31

christopher laing
Your right on according to the Bible because God hates religion too so the only solution is to ban all the religions of this world and just set the Ten Commandments of God before men to follow then things might change for the better in this nation.
But since that will never happen in this liberal politically correct nation, are there not laws in this country concerning hate speech about religious beliefs and practices but I forget that only applies to the Muslim's in this country and after all these are only Jew's right and they're right up there with Bible believing Christians?
It's hypocritical to say the least that while everyone is up and arms over how these parents raise their own children, we allow our children to watch and listen to every filthy piece of trash that's available on the radio, television, internet and in movie theaters that only corrupts their minds and say it's the rights of the parents to do so and then they even go so far as to say that these young children even now have the right to make up their own minds about such issues of life but these same advocates of a liberal godless society are never around to accept responsibility for what they advocate.
Heck we even glorify the homosexual community by granting them rights under the laws of this hypocritical liberally and politically correct nation to take innocent children into their lives and teach them all about alternative lifestyles without the child's consent believing this in somehow a great thing because at least they have a " family " now and then we wonder why our society is so screwed up when we see the tragic fallout of these decisions but it's better to allow this than to stand for Yahuwah's laws that strictly forbid this.
A country that stands for nothing, falls for everything and is ultimately destroyed by it's own means and Canada is right at the top when it comes to this stupidity and only magnifies it's stupidity with it's double standards when dealing with so many different issues but damn those Jew's and Christian's eh!!!

Reader's comment on the article:
Judge admonishes Lev Tahor parents, orders supervised visits with children.
By Tim Alamenciak | The Star | Published on Sat Apr 05 2014

I fear this is just the beginning of religious persecution here in Canada.

Readers' comments on the article:
BREAKING: Lev Tahor Cult Raided By Authorities, 7 Arrested By Canadian Border Services, Children Taken Into Protective Care.
The Yeshiva World News. |  (Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014) [UPDATED 2:45PM ET]

Domino says:
April 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Do you find it absolutely necessary to use the word “cult” in your headline? Does this add to Kovod Shomayim or detract from it? Did you check with the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation or a local Rav to see if this is Mutor or possibly inflammatory and Loshon Hora? I am not part of this group, I am not a Chassid, but I would prefer to see more respectful and responsible reporting by your web site.

sholom1 says:
April 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Any insular Chasidic group could easily be targeted by the authorities and similar charges of child abuse filed. This could be the tip of the iceberg.

ujm says:
April 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

However wrong their religious actions and practices may be, it is wrong, unhelpful, absurd and counterproductive for the government to seize their children from their parents and put them who knows where in some irreligious environment — but even worse the children are away from their parents.

nfgo3 says:
April 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Would YWN please post something explaining why this group should be called a “cult.” I know very little about the group, and I have no opinion about whether they are or are not a cult. YWN unabashedly calls this group a cult, and I would like to know why.

realistic100 says:
April 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm

I don’t think it’s proper for YWN to post a picture of a fellow Jew being arrested.
I would ask this picture to be removed.

therav says:
April 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Terrible. I can’t bear to see my brothers and sisters denigrating our fellow Jews based on ‘reports’ ‘documentaries’ and other ‘trustworthy’ sources. Lets not make the mistake we made by the destruction of our second temple. Let us try to judge our fellow yid favorably. Only good can come from following halacha and using our (hashem given) superior intellect to understand how esav soneh es yakov even drives the media. In the zchus of our collective favorable judgement upon others may all of us acheinu kol yisrael together be zocheh to arichas yamim, health and nachas from our families and from the entire klal yisrael.

Readers' comments on the article:
Police raid 'Jewish Taliban' compound.
7 Lev Tahor sect members arrested for violation of immigration law.
By JTA | Haaretz | Apr. 3, 2014 | 7:32 AM | 2

Judaism is a religion , obviously they are true jews who are committed.

By Hassan
04 Apr 2014

Viva Lev Tahor-Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon are proud of you...!
By Red Robin
03 Apr 2014

Readers' comments on the article:
Lev Tahor Children Returned To Their Families After CBSA Arrests.
The Yeshiva World | Thursday, April 3rd, 2014.

ujm says:
April 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Thank G-d. Children should be with their parents irregardless who the parents are. Taking children away from their parents is akin to murder and destroys the child. Even if one disagrees with the religious practices of the parents. A child should never be taken away for that reason.

The agency trumped up charges because they aren’t teaching the official school curriculum including sex ed and evolution.

Listen to Rabbi Miller ztl says:
April 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm

1. I’m not part of them, so don’t accuse me for my comment.
2. Why so much hate against other Jews?
3. Why is it so important for YWN to describe them all the time as a CULT?
4. can you imagine the pain of the parents taken away from their children? the pain of the children taken away from their parents?
5. These kids are %100 innocent, whats this big happiness to see them suffer?
Lastly, for the Goyim we are all the same,putting them down is putting down all the Jews, so whats the big simcha?
6. Do you think that this Hate and Loshon Hara is bringing good merits for us? think again.
7. Ever heard the old jews saying, “By the Natzis they did not care where you belonged, Satmer, belz, pupa, lubabitch, Chasid, it was all the same”, get the point?

basmelech says:
April 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

I would venture to guess that most people if not all, making those nasty comments about this being an “abusive cult” have never met any of these people. Why does everyone feel they have free rein to speak loshon horah and motzi shem rah so blatantly about them? It is just as much an aveira as talking about your neighbor, your brother etc. especially if it is all speculation and hearsay. These people may look different because of the way they dress, but, they are not abusive. They want to live their way, quietly, without bothering anyone, even if to others it seems extreme. They are not a danger to anyone, they are not recruiting members (like real cults do) What is taking place in this community is nothing short of a pogrom. They should be allowed to live in peace with their families intact and teach their children the way they feel is right. They call themselves lev tahor because they want to keep their children pure, away from all the influences of the secular world. Most Yidden don’t live this way, I agree, but, who says they live the proper Torah derech? Isolation is the only way to keep oneself away from outside influence. Who says it is right to let your kids going shopping in malls, or going to amusement parks etc, or reading goyish books, watching videos from the public library? I am just enumerating a few things people do, it is not everything, but, everyone shouldn’t be so smug about themselves and think they are holy, Torahdick Jews and they are better than Lev Tahor, just because they are “normal”. I know the Lev Tahor community and even though they are “extreme” to our way of thinking, they do what they do l’shem shomayim, which is more than I can say for most of us (including myself).

Readers' comments on the article:
Canadian Border Services Agency Raids Lev Tahor Cult.
Matzav.vom | Wednesday April 2, 2014 2:48 PM

8. Comment from dave
Time April 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

just remember, all of those who are happy, that the same claims could be brought against regular chareidim and nobody in the world would think its wrong. I don’t like this cult- but the intervention of the government simply because they don’t understand them could backfire on everybody R”L.

9. Comment from Fellow Jew
Time April 2, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I see the hateful comments left above, shows your kaltkeit towards your fellow Jews who are different from you. Perfect way to enhance the Shalom in Kllal Yisroel! Way to go Matzav! You cover up for the lowlife pieces of trash who have hurt Torah in the worst way possible, but yet you chose to go after this! Matzav has shown your true colors! Keep it up

14. Comment from Rabbi Avraham Goldstein
Time April 3, 2014 at 12:06 AM

I hope frum people get what is really happening.

Some people here feel that this group of Yiddin deserve what they are getting naively thinking that it is just about them.

They try to get them with child abuse but had no proof son the next thing was to arrest them with immigration violations. strangely they left Canada but Canada instead of being happy that they left returned them back….

Most Jews are happy that this is happening to them…but fail to realize that they had just opened the door to let religious Jews be accuse of Abuse using of Lev Tohor as a legal precedent.
Gentiles do not know the difference between lev Tohor and bet ha mnedrash Gevoha…

By the way…no one has a right to call them a cult just becasue you do not like the way they follow Yiddishkait. (somehow I think people will burst as usual with their emotional reacctions)

Some went to Guatemala..no evidence of abuse whatsoever…I think Canada is angry because they are being ridiculed.
wake up and smell the coffee!

15. Comment from Rabbi Avraham Goldstein
Time April 3, 2014 at 12:13 AM

About Machalel Shabbes…another malicious lie!
They were deported by the Canadians ON SHBABBES…:(
Instead of voicing our outrage for this violation and religious persecution, we abandoned our brothers to accuse them instead of Chilul Shabbes.
Hashem Yirachem!!!!!

18. Comment from matzav fan
Time April 3, 2014 at 1:35 AM

People don’t see the seriousness of this issue, we judge this people forgeting they are also Jews, eventually in a couple of years from now non-Jews won’t understand, why Jews still wear these hats and have strings hanging around them,and why do they practice this barbaric religion that mutilates babies at the 8th day of birth and what about Metzitzah bePeh there campaigns against it in the radio already,etc,a cat never jumps right away he waits and crawls to have his mouse close, in Germany they started with one type of Jews and then they ended up killing 6 million Jews no difference whether they were extreme religious or extremly secular..

20. Comment from oy yoy
Time April 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I agree with 13 and 14, I feel terrible for them! I dont understand why we as jews have to side with the rest of the world that is against them , we should at least feel for them and be dan lechaf zchus. It doesnt matter what they do or where they come from , they are Jews and they’re our brothers and that is what really counts. Leave the judgine up to G-D because He is the Only One that has a right to say anything

Reader's comment on the article:
Several Lev Tahor Members To Be Deported From Canada.
Failed Messiah | April 06, 2014.

Shmarya . . . i was thinking that you or rather the Toronto Sun did a good job of reporting in this article. I didn't get a sense of overt bias in reading it. . . however, it has occurred to me that, maybe like so many of us, the Lev Tahor members are seriously misplaced in time.

Here in southern Ontario the Amish have parcelled out a small community where they seem free to follow their beliefs as their customs dictate. But without the unending recent scrutiny of the Lev Tahor membership.

This curious moment should be enscribed in our history more for our complicity in not wanting to see that not everyone is willing to embrace this new era, for it proposed excitement and promise. But rather are prepared to dedicate their stay on earth for the purposes of spiritual discipline garnered through religious training.
By not allowing those whose wishes it is to complete their learnings, we will be ushering in en mass conflicted souls in what has quickly become an ethically conflicted time.
I am at a want to believe that we all, at our core, desire to be free to live our lives unencumbered and as peacefully as possible. Yet I can only hope that the Lev Tahor's ultimate demise as strict and devoted religious followers will not close the door to an admirable and disciplined vision towards "Guided" self determination.
If only because, as a society we are now fully complicit in allowing those who choose conscionable non secular life styles, to be pushed around as if they don't belong anywhere.

Posted by: anchell | April 07, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Readers' comments on the article:
Judge mulls kids’ fate.
By Vicki Gough | Chatham Daily News | Wednesday, April 9, 2014 8:05:08 EDT PM


If there is no proof of abuse, why are they pursuing this? The teenage mother is not unusual by our standards, home schooling is also not unheard of. What am I missing?

My questions are: Why did they leave Quebec? Why did they leave Canada?

J Scott LadieBug
They left Quebec because they felt persecuted by Child Services.

They left Canada, because they experienced the same, if not worse treatment in Ontario.

If you research the Children's Aid Society you'll find that it is a for-profit organization that is provided incentives based on the amount of children they "save".

Unfortunately, studies have concluded that in families that receive CAS "services", children are more likely to die from suicide, neglect or accidental death. They have also been found guilty of negligence, incompetence and malicious persecution. Not to mention, their "workers" are not registered social workers.

Throw in the fact that hundreds of children have died under their supervision in recent years - details of which are hidden due to "privacy concerns", and you've got yourself a real class act.

With that said - how far would you go to protect your children from that "system"?

Readers' comments on the article:
Quebec officials say many more Lev Tahor children could be at risk.
CBC |Thu, 10 Apr, 2014

Aaron Bright
Sounds like simple job security to me, just like so many other persecutions of the past. We all know these child welfare people are extremely prone to exaggerations. They take people's kids away, then wind up giving them back anyhow. In the end they cause the kids more trauma than they would have suffered anyway, just by prying them away from their parents, homes and friends, while all the time going on and on about how much they care.

Where are the Charges? How can people be detained with out charges being laid? 24 hour rule? Not one person charged(arrested) for any defensible crime, having your kids TAKEN without being charged for abuse or neglect by some bureaucrat?????I was born in this country and it seems to me that people are forgetting what freedom really is until it is their kids that are taken! I am all for the protection of kids but education covers a broad range and if government thinks that people are incapable of this then society as we know it is in big trouble. Graduating students from public schooling systems fair no better then home schooled kids in testing so where is the problem? Sounds like soviet union style propaganda with no recourse for the parents since they can`t stand in front of a jury and defend themselves. Taking a child from their mom and dad is as TRAUMATIC as anything anyone can do to a kid!!!!! Charge them or leave them alone!!!! If the family was white , canadian born would that make any difference? It is ABOUT FREEDOM or bureaucratic power struggle, travel restrictions without charges ;it blows me away that this is legal. Just put yourself in the shoes of those people and ask yourself what you would do if they were coming to take your kids ?? Terrifying ,this is Canada" the home of the brave ,land of the free". We certainly need to make a stand for our freedom.

John Doe Smith
What are the statistics? How many children have died in this community? How many children have been hospitalized or diagnosed of malnutrition or brutal abuse? Is this just a difference of world view and intolerance of the STATE?

@ kelly-ann,thanks for replying, I definitely have the safety of a 14 year old girl in mind. My bewilderment comes from the complete lack (0)of charges. People are being detained in foreign countries airports and returned to Canada but when they arrive here they are not met with hand cuffs and arrested. It is puzzling to me that our statutory rape laws are not being enforced by either the QPP or the OPP. If a person is accused of a crime then they should be charged so that they may have an opportunity to stand before a JUDGE and have a proper trial. I am looking for more information and not defending pedophiles or rapists ,I believe allegations need to be backed up with criminal charges .Otherwise innocent people can have their reputations ruined without opportunity for a defense,that is my point.

Reader's comment on this article:
Lev Tahor members ordered deported to Israel. Paul Lungen, Staff Reporter, | Canadian Jewish News | Sunday April 13, 2014

Kavod And Kaved shloime
So by your logic Jews should have obeyed Hitler too, when he was the leader of Germany, and not fled?
If you had studied Judaism, and history, more carefully, you would know that that level of covering was once required for women and girls under Jewish law and that halakhah does not itself object to early marriages, which were practiced into the 1800s by European Jews, as they were by European Christians. We disagree with them now (rightly) based on our better knowledge of development and greater need for longer education.
Authors of their own misfortune? Tread carefully. Do you know how many people have said that about the Jews? That we were hated, persecuted and kicked out of every country, so there must a reason for it? Do you know how many in Europe (where anti-Semitism is rising) are already saying the same about the Roma? When people in cars throw bottles at the Amish, or torment them in other ways, is that also them authoring their own misfortune?

We are so very quick to throw them under the bus of public opinion because they are so different from us...and to advocate them being treated differently, and deprived of the protections of the law that the rest of us enjoy. Oh yes, this incident will reflect very badly on the "real" Jews, whose commitment to both ahavat yisroel and the rule of law evaporates when inconvenient.

Readers' comments on the article:
Quebec Court Ordered All 128 Lev Tahor Cult Children Into Protective Custody.
The Yeshiva World | Saturday, April 12th, 2014.

Left Brooklyn says:
April 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm
I guess no freedom of religion in Quebec.

basmelech says:
April 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm
Protection from what? They don’t need protection from their families only from the Canadian authorities who are persecuting them. Read this week’s informative article on Lev Tahor in the Ami Magazine and realize the truth. This is about religious freedom plain and simple and if they are targeted now, who is next?

PinhasErez says:
April 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm
They lived for how long in Quebec, in Saint Agathe, and the government there had no interest in them.
What happened to change that all?
Canadian Jewish Congress, the State of Israel, and other “jewish” interest groups put them in their sights, and went after them. They appealed to the government in Quebec to go after them.
One reason is they homeschool their daughters, raising them to be housewives and mothers. This is simply stepping back to the pre-Beit Yaakov era, of 80-90 years ago. Jewish communities only began creating schools for orthodox girls, when in Europe they were starting to go to secular state schools, and were doing their homework on Shabbat. Beit Yaakov which was started not because girls chouls be in school, but in order to draw off the derech girls back to the derech, is now taking every girl, from the off the derech to the Rebbes daughters. These people have full support from halacha and true jewish approach, to do this.
Secondly they upset the all wondeful State of Israel, with their anti-State activities, with Neturei Karta. Some of the guys in the community fly to Iran, and spend time in Belgium and so on. They also tried to bring 2 gals from their circles to the community in Quebec, via Jordan since the State would not allow them to leave through Ben Gurion. This really ticked off the State.
So, some powerful entities have taken issue with them, and have prodded and convinced Quebec to go after them. Before this, Quebec had no interest, did not care.
To spice things up and get media and popular approval for converging on them, allegations of child abuse are invented, to grease the wheels.
Sadly different “religious” jewish media have been simply sharing allegations and spawning hatred and misinformation against this community.

basmelech says:
April 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm
to anonymous #5 – My opinion happens to be in agreement with the article in Ami and I am glad someone wrote an article in favor of Lev Tahor without all the negativeness. I happen to know this community very well and it is very sad to see so many people speaking against them without ever having met them. Whatever one thinks about their approach to Yiddishkeit it doesn’t merit them to have have loshon horah and motzei shem rah spewed about by otherwise frum Jews who have no compunctions about looking down on them just because they are different than them. How come no one gets all upset whrn less frum people bring up their kids to dress untsniudik, have boys and girls mingle etc? Isn’t that worse than being ultra frum? Jews are supposed to be kind and caring about one another and there is no heter to speak bad of someone else even if you think his ways are strange (according to your personal feelings and not because the Torah says so). The Mishpacha article I did not read and even if I did it would not change my opinion because as I said I know the families of this community and I understand what they are trying to accomplish. It is possible that the Mishpacha article borders on motzei shem rah as I infer from your statement.

y2r says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm
I have yet to see the smoking gun on these people. As I see them, they should not be treated any different than the Amish people.

Do I practice that way of life? No, but I don’t claim child abuse because they are living like the people of the 1800ds.

The worst part of this story are the people who find it necessary to bash frum Yidden on any given moment without giving them the benefit of the doubt. They don’t realize to the goy they are the same

Readers' comments on the article:
Lev Tahor Appeal Successful.

By Ashton Patis | Blackburn News | April 14, 2014.

April 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm
Well now this has been dismissed, the Chatham Kent CAS has clearly stated they have had no concerns with any of the families. Their current order was made strictly to return the children to Canada on the basis of the appeal. This decision should negate the CKCS apprehension order and the kids should all be returned to their families for the holidays!!!

April 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm
This is a positive step in this case. As someone with ties to Quebec, I know first hand of the religious prejudices in Quebec. Authorities there will use whatever means and excuses they want to in their persecutions. Ontario is a land more accepting & willing to become knowledgeable of those less mainstream.
I have more confidence in the Ontario justice system to find out the truth of the matters at hand, and hope that CK Cas will use this opportunity to show the people that they want to turn their past around & help families instead of ripping them apart. Maybe this group needs some guidance, but ripping families apart on unfounded allegations is not the answer. To help children one must help the parents as well. Ripping the family unit apart is not the answer in most cases. It often causes worse problems.

April 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm
I agree with Trish. I think these children and parents have gone through enough. Return the children to the parents and leave them alone. Let them get on with their lives. I think it is terrible what they have been put through, because lets face it if the Quebec childrens aid had any concrete prouf in the beginning of all this, they would have gone in and taken the children right away instead of waiting for more investigation.

April 15, 2014 at 8:53 am
I would have done the same thing. They want to take the kids away for what? The Quebec CAS doesn’t even know, they want to do psychological assessments to see if they can find anything…why is everything so secret that the parents and Lawyers can’t even see copies of the latest apprehension orders?? This all started with Israel making unfounded allegations, which to this day remain unfounded…

Reader's comment on the article:
Lev Tahor Kids Won’t Be Sent Back To Quebec, Judge Rules.

The Yeshiva World News | Monday, April 14th, 2014.

Bogen says:
April 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Baruch Hashem! Baruch Hashem! What a beautiful Erev Pesach present! The Eibeshter is always there protecting his dear Bnei Yisroel!!

Reader's comment on the blogpost:
Haredi Cult Wins Partial Victory On Appeal.
Failed Messiah | April 14, 2014

. . . here in Ontario, or at least The Children Aid Services in souther Ontario is intimately linked to the Jewish Family Services. Consequently, it will be interesting to see what the scope of their investigation will be.

It should be noted that Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees an individual's right to Her Conscience and Religion. She is also by right entitled to her Beliefs, By law all citizens and permanent residents have a right to enter in or leave Canada. And to be free to move to any province they are so inclined.

I've taken note of this legal rhetoric because of my interest in seeing whether the courts can move within the balance of the Charter, in particular the "right" to Belief, to Conscience and to holding to one's Religion.

Posted by: anchell | April 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Reader's comment on the article:
Lev Tahor children won’t be sent to foster care in Quebec, judge rules.
By Trevor Wilhelm | The Windsor Star | Apr 14, 2014.

Ali Al-Hajjar · Top Commenter · Self-employed at Self Employed and Loving It!
Yes they work, and they don't spend their money on useless garbage, or eat out every day cause the mom is too lazy to cook..
Reply ·
April 17 at 2:10am

Ali Al-Hajjar · Top Commenter · Self-employed at Self Employed and Loving It!
.... Many how I applaud these brethren for winning this suit.. Hopefully they win the whole case.. All these fake accusations are mere smear campaigns to discredit the anti-Zionist Jewish front movement across the globe, cause they can not slap them with the usual anti-Semitic rhetoric that they usually accuse of anyone who opposes the Zionist regime.. Kudos to the Lev Tahor in their honorable fight for dignity.. Peace blessings and love.. God bless..

Reader's comment on the article:
Lev Tahor wins appeal in child protection case; kids to stay in Ontario.
By Allison Jones | Winnipeg Free Press | 04/14/2014 1:18 PM

3:33 PM on 4/14/2014

In plain English.

Authorities in Quebec have no legal grounds to continue harassing these families. Continuing down this line would further hurt the children.

Now we just have to wait for Ontario authorities to explain why they have the legal right to harass these families.

The court has already ruled that these actions are harmful to the children.

"Templeton says in her decision that to put further upheaval in the children's lives by sending them back to Quebec would have "disastrous" emotional consequences and they should not bear the consequences of their parents' flight."

Now we wait to see if the children should bear the consequences of their parents beliefs.
Or the consequences of social services beliefs.

Reader's comment on the article:
Court allows Lev Tahor children to stay in Ontario.
By Alison Jones | The Globe and Mail | Published Monday, Apr. 14 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

Trish D-Advocate
Have you even seen proof of the allegations being made? I know for a fact, there are NONE!!! These children are exposed to people outside of their community and enjoy interacting with others. The women are extremely happy and choose to stay within the community. If anyone wants to leave, they can leave with no questions asked!!

Mr. Goldman does understand this ruling!! The apprehension order was made in order to bring the children back to Canada. So now that this LONDON judge made her ruling, the judge in the lower courts should be making a decision favourable to the community for the children to return, as there has been NO evidence provided of any abuse, and CK CAS has publicly stated that they have found NO concerns or reasons for apprehension.

I love how people are upset in general about this community and how everything is in the public. First off, Quebec DYP went to the media claiming the "Jewish Taliban" was coming to Ontario, and put all the allegations out there!! The only reason that CK CAS has not gone after all the children, which would get them out of debt and make over 1 million dollars, is because it was kept in the public. If all families were to put their stories out in the public, then the CAS in Ontario would not be able to play their sneaky games, lying in court orders, and breaking families apart by NOT looking for less intrusive ways, and not following their mandating law (most workers don't know this law). CKCS has already tried this over a marker spot on a child's face, and were told to return the children, and reprimanded by a judge at the hearing 5 days later!!!

These children NEED to be returned to their loving parents, families and community ASAP and everyone there NEEDS to be left alone!!!

Readers' comments on the blog post:
Lev Tahor - Silence is Not an Option.
By Harry Maryles | Emes Ve-Emunah | Thursday, April 24, 2014

Every single one of your criticisms can be leveled at any orthodox Jew. So they require burkas, you require wigs. They study mystical works by Helbrans, you study books filled with gematriyas like maayana shel torah. There is no question - whatsoever - that Frankfurter is 100% dead bang right here. It is nobody's business, NOBODY's business, to tell these people how to live their lives.

DF wit
wit - why do you immediately go on the negative with a statement like "thanks for your insult to the intelligent [sic]"? Why not make your argument, such as it were, and have done with it? There's no need for nastiness.

In any event, children are NOT being abused, and shame on you for saying that. The Court of Appeals would not have returned them to their parents if there was any evidence otherwise. Unless you consider forbidding them to eat certain foods a form of abuse, in which case every orthodox Jew, and every Muslim, is abused. That you aver that the adults are also being abused shows you have no conception of what the term means. Nor are they malnourished at all. Have you not seen any video or photos? They are as healthy as any children, and in fact, judging from obesity so prevalent in some American communities, even healthier.

It's extraordinarily foolish to go down the road of interfering with religious issues [under the thin veneer, as recongized by the court of appeals] of "concern" for the children. If the children's welfare was truly the motivating factor, the Canadian government would never have seized the children from their parents in the first place.

Naomi W hmaryles
How do you know the children's smiles are fake? Why should I not trust AMI over Mishpacha when they were there and actually saw and spoke to these people. When their article include a interview with both sides, the accused and the prosecutor. Why shouldnt I trust Dr. Frischman a very prominent and respected Agudist. And why shouldn't I trust Mr. Mamman, a modern orthodox lawyer who has taken this case pro bono. He made very strong arguments and refutation in the article of AMI. Why should'nt I trust Judge Templeton who reversed the decision and did it knowing that had she not these kids would have been taken away from their homes. Instead she said that taken away these kids would be very damaging to them? Why should I trust you? Is anything you are saying based on anything other hearsay. Have you reviewed the Court documents. Have you personally spoken to any victims. Have you cross examined anyone. Even the reporter for 16 x 9 said she did not see any abuse. She spent a week there. As a teacher I can tell you that children who are abused look haunted. THey can't fake smiles. Their eyes are dead. If you believe these people are abused by Helbrans, why do you want to punish them further by taking away their children. If you cared about these people and believed they were abused by Helbran why are you not feeling sorry for them as Rabbi Frankfurter seems to be.

Yity Weiss DSF
I also thought so, but then i read the interview with the main prosecutor and he claims the opposite.

Besides after reading the Ami articles, I watched again the two Canadian TV reports and realized that its basically based on a few non frum guys claiming "he said she said" which may or may not be true, but till there is no hard evidence nobody should have the right to take away kids from their parents.

J Sigman DSF
Read the interview with the child welfare official, buddy, and watch what he says in the videos. He doesn't have evidence of real abuse.

Mark Richards 
Long after we can debate and debase Helbrans, he is still not proven to run a cult. He may be an arrogant leader and an ignorant one, but the government should not be in the business of testing religious leaders to see whether they are fit for their leadership roles.
Yes, there are family members of his adherents who are angry that their brother/husband/grandson is following a different path to them. They may even have a good point. But none of us would like a democratic 21st century government to go on a witch hunt and a fishing expedition to find crimes (mostly victimless ones, like lying on an immigration affidavit) against a group at the behest of disgruntled family members.
His followers websites and the general attitude around him is that he is being persecuted for being against the State of Israel which is laughable to anyone. Since he left (for about 20 years) he has been claiming that although he left quietly, the Israeli media made a big fuss about it. The State of Israel is in no danger from him and nobody would know he exists if not for the havoc caused by disgruntled ex-members of his group.
But there is still not a shred of proof for the extreme examples of abuse he allegedly committed. The snow-rolling/flogging stories, in addition to the stories about being locked into basements, have never been proven. Nobody can bring us an eye-witness and even according to those stories these practices have long been stopped. Their eating habits are regular health-nut ideas, followed by many gullible people across America. That should not be a reason to squeeze them out of the family of Jews.
Again I do not have much respect for him or for Ami's journalistic standards. (If they wanted the inside story, maybe they should have interviewed some ex-members of the group, maybe Nachman Helbrans, for a more rounded view.) They preferred the illusion of research to actual research, as many journalists often do. But the fight from the CPS of Canada may have nothing to do with my points of contention with Helbrans and everything to so with bigotry and mixing into other peoples lives.

Anshie moshe
I read the Ami article and I found it one of the most thoughtful pieces I've read anywhere in a long time. Harry why do you always have to go for the jugular when you disagree with someone's point of view? Isn't Rabbi Frankfurter entitled to share his opinion? I just don't get it

J Sigman
Judge Templeton wrote, "I am entirely satisfied that it would be contrary to the best interests of these children to be returned to Quebec." She also wrote that none of the allegations of abuse have been proven. The points of concern that she raised were youth marriages and “suppression or limitation of critical thought in (the sect’s) children,” both of which could apply to many chasidic groups to some extent. In fact, I'd guess that your grandchildren's critical thought could be found to be "limited" to some extent, Harry, since they go to a Jewish school.

It is Mishpacha Magazine that should be condemned, for writing an irresponsible article. full of hearsay, unproven allegation and innuendos. For heaven's sake, if you're writing an article with consequences for people's children, have the decency to go down to this place and look these people and children in the eye. As for the Ami piece, it was written for the intelligent reader. In addition to Rabbi Frankfurter visiting the place, they included the findings of Dr. Frischman, a well respected and prominent individual. They interviewed Maimon, a Modern Orthodox man, who is doing this case pro bono, as well as the child safety official from Quebec.

I can't believe that you would advocate taking people's children -- not Helbran's children but dozens of other people's children -- away from them based on mere allegations. Every other divorce case involves allegations of abuse. Do you always believe them? Based on this post, I'm afraid that you might.

Why do you Jews always fight amongst yourselves? I live in Chatham and I marched in support of these people. They are a very kind and pious people. And the Canadian government has no right to persecute them.

For the case in point, the main issue is physical child abuse in the shape of confinements, forced marriages etc. If these allegations are true, then of course the authorities are justified in their prosecution.

But most of the media, and unfortunately some of the agents who speak for the government, focus on cult practices, including outlandish dress code, extensive davening and isolationist education. If the authorities have a hard time distinguishing between abuse and religious instruction, there is not much left in the way of a similar move against any charedi community that rejects secular education and has with visibly unconventional beliefs and practices.

Do you think they know where to draw the line? Do we? For example, there are well known communities that prevent exposure of children to any language other than Yiddish. To many or most of us, the damage is such that this practice getting very close to abuse, with some of the effects of physical confinement. But do we seriously want the government to take these kids away from their homes, or to decide what forms of indoctrination are allowed? In this sense the case should give us pause and grave concern.

Readers' comments on:
Ami's coverage of the Lev Tahor group.
The Yeshiva World News | YWN Coffee Room » Decaffeinated Coffee » Controversial Topics | April 24, 2014

Ami refuted the accusations point by point. And there has been not a single actual case where it was shown that any 14 year old was married despite claims. (And the claim was that there was once one single case of someone going to some US State that allows it and got married at 15. But none of the accusers seems to know who that supposedly is. Even the welfare department found no evidence of it actually happening.) The entirety of the claims are built on a deck of cards that doesn't hold up.

There was also a letter published in Ami signed by the Montreal Dayanim of Satmar, Skvere and another big Rov supporting the group, asking people to help them and to stop accusing them.

a singular mind
This is a tricky issue, because it's hard to really know what's going on there. I tend to be very skeptical about news reports.

Ami magazine in general is very alarmist. If they could be persecuted and prosecuted because of their religion, all religious people should beware.

With that said, I think that Ami did an excellent job reporting on the one angle they were supposedly covering, the charges leveled against the group by the various government agencies. Those charges were shown to be based on very flimsy, if any, evidence and if one wishes to believe in Ami's conclusion, it is because they are even for "Ultra Orthodox Jews" an anomaly, an easy target and the first in the process of going after all religious people.

a singular mind
I do think that their overall approach is without a mesorah, but I find it hard to believe that the proper course of action is to take their children away from them.

a singular mind
here mishpacha wrote a article against lev tahor , so he wrote a article pro lev tahor.

It does seem that way. However, I am told that he was disturbed by the strength of anti-Lev Tahor sentiment before the Mishpacha piece.

dogo: Those allegations are false. They have not been proven because it doesn't exist. You are parroting what you heard in the media without any evidence as there isn't any. Not in court, not anywhere. Children belong with parents not with some other unrelated family. There is no way kidnapping these children and "assigning" them to another family will not cause far far greater damage to the children than leaving them with their own parents. Even if they have fungus on their toenails.

Readers' comments on the blog post:
Cults and the War of the Jewish Magazines.
By Yair Hoffman | Cross-Currents | on May 1st, 2014

Moshe Mandel
May 2, 2014 at 7:45 am
I agree with Jacob to the extent that cultism is a subjective term, and one’s cult is the others holy community. Regardless, no Jew should be deemed outside the Jewish community, cultist or not, and I am appalled by the advocacy of taking Jewish children away from their loving families based upon hearsay evidence.

Joe Hill
May 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

The “allegations” brought in the Mishpacha article as well as the television shows “16 by 9” and “The 5thEstate” are openly based on speculation and proof-less accusations by disgruntled ex-members. Credence should not be given to television shows and commercial magazines who know little of which they speak and fill in the blanks with the worst kind of conjecture.

Oulette Robins
May 4, 2014 at 10:09 am
In the Knesset, a committee presented allegations against Lev Tahor of some of the most atrocious abuses of children of what some speaking to the committee called “a sadistic cult“. Yet two things became immediately apparent: that Lev Tahor, under investigation by the Israeli state and subject to a mountain of allegations has not been charged of any crime by the state prosecutor, even after years of investigation. Attorney Galit Greenberg from the Justice Ministry, affirmed that there was ” difficulty of obtaining evidence”, and that, “for seven months the Canadian Community Social Services checked the community and found no evidence of abuse or torture“.

Miriam Meier
May 5, 2014 at 7:27 am
Crazy Kanoi:

The issue is not the charedi magazine Ami or any other publication. The only question is whether this author has personally gathered any evidence about child abuse in Lev Tahor other than reading a slanted article in a commercial magazine which itself was based upon hearsay evidence? Since he clearly did not gather such evidence nor did he ever bother to visit the Lev Tahor community by what authority is he advocating the removal of the children from their homes? As Judge Templeton of Ontario wrote: There has been no finding of abuse by any court to date. So how can we advocate such a harsh punishment based upon a writer’s feeelings?

I find the hastiness by which some condemn others highly troubling.

Robert Vachon
May 5, 2014 at 7:57 am
I live in Chatham Kent near this group. As a result I’ve supported them in their struggles against the government and the Jewish community at large. For some reason they’ve been a target of accusations which have no basis in reality. Perhaps the only thing one can accuse them of is marrying early. But otherwise the boys and girls would be segregated till a late age. I would suggest that the author of the post visit Chatham Kent and verify for himself the veracity of my statements.

The author should watch this video
He claimed they don’t have normal parental feelings

Bob Miller
May 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm
Subscribe to publications that tell valuable truths consistently based on sound research. We see a lot of shortcuts in our “Jewish” media that rely on unverified claims by parties in dispute.

Robert Vachon
May 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm
Crazy Kanoiy proves the point I was trying to make about the baseless allegations leveled against Lev Tahor. Judge Templeton never said what CK says she said. But how does one disprove a distortion? She in fact pointed out that no abuse has ever been found against this group. Note: this is after three years of non stop supervision in Quebec. I often wonder why the Jewish community has leveled these charges against a group it knows very little about. As a Christian I find this type of self hate disturbing.

Robert Vachon
May 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm


this is quite a comprehensive overview about Lev Tahor written by a friend.

Robert Vachon
May 5, 2014 at 9:42 pm
Lawrence. The judge was NOT referring to all the children of Lev Tahor. Only to a limited group of 12 children whose parents ran to Trinidad. This author had condemned all of Lev Tahor and has advocated to have all their children removed. And even with regard to the group of 12 NO abuse had ever been found against the parents even with regard to the allegation of having fungus on their feet. Why is everyone doing this? I don’t get it.

Robert Vachon
May 6, 2014 at 8:57 am
I want to thank the owner of the blog for allowing me to comment. I want you to know that most Christian people in Canada have an unfavorable opinion about Jews. When I see these types of postings by rabbis it makes one upset why Jews are not more careful in their assessments of other Jews.

Readers' comments on the article:
Lev Tahor: Let's help their children.
Cara Edell, Special to The CJN | Canadian Jewish News | Monday, May 5, 2014

Moe Ginsburg
The best, and indeed only, way to help these children is to insure they are not ripped away from their parents and their family and assigned to non-family.

Deborah Feldman has zero to do with Lev Tahor. Feldman has been exposed by the media to be a pathological liar who put in her book fictions such as a supposed murder than in reality never happened; she claimed her mother disappeared when in fact her mother never left Brooklyn; and a whole host of other drivel in her book.

You mention Feldman's book, and characterize it as a powerful memoir. If your "research" had been somewhat more thorough, you would have also discovered that it was in large part a fabrication, and that when pressed the authoress admitted as much. You claim that you "can draw many lines between what I know about the Satmar and Lev Tahor groups." From reading your opinion, I can safely say that you know nothing about either. Like too many today, your ignorance is justification enough for self-righteous pronouncements, regardless of the truth and regardless of who gets hurt because, after all, "It’s all too primitive for me."

Reader's comment on the article:
Lev Tahor family reunited with 4 children in foster care.
Vicki Gough | Sun News | May 7th, 2014

Jan Bakker
The question of competency and judgement arises regarding "children's care workers" who take away the well fed well looked after children of religious parents while losing/ignoring hundreds of under nourished and abused children of drunk and drug using parents.

Reader's comment on the article:
Dozens Of Haredi Lev Tahor Cult Members Flee To Guatemala, Live In 3-Room Shack.
Failed Messiah | May 10, 2014.

Stupid article, as I don't think the author is qualified to determine who has or what is mental illness? How is Rav Shach any less bat shit crazy than the Rebbe? Both believe in things that most people would consider crazy. Maybe materialists and secularists are the bat shit crazy ones. My advice: Stop judging others so much. I would go further and say virtually all people are crazy as we are all living a life that no one quite understands. I suspect the author is also a bit nuts along with everyone else on this planet. Compassion, my friend. That's what the Buddhists counsel and could prob do u some good.

Posted by: nahal etan | May 11, 2014 at 09:30 PM

Readers' comments on the article:
Ottawa, Canada - Report: Migration Of Lev Tahor To Guatemala Is Underway.
By Glen Silver | 11/05/2014

Proud to be a jew Says:

Wandering who Mr. or Mrs. K is! Writing all these facts as if they are facts,,, Maybe they are facts. Who knows. We have a lot of self hating jews. Even between us Chareidim, the chasidisha & litvisha think they have the right jewish way of life and the Modern orthodox are partially off the derech. The modern orthodox look at us chasidim as ULTRA orthodox fanatics .

Previous articles mentioned eye witness accounts from non frum, anti frum, zionist, family members which i found something like an oxymoron. Just a picture of a frum person makes their blood boil, let alone a family member becoming one of them and they are the eye witnesses being quoted with all the facts.

Not sure what this Lev Tahor group is all about,, but i don't these articles at face value.

ayinglefunadorf Says:
Reply to #8 Show Quote

"Not following the halacha as all other jews" All Jews means: Litvish? Neturei Karte? Reform? Modern Orthodox? Communist Jews? Or Maybe "as all other jews" means to you: whatever type of judaism YOU practice? anithyng else is Meshugas?

Readers' comments on the article:
Guatemala: A Visit To Lev Tahor By A Family Member.
The Yeshiva World News | Monday, May 12th, 2014.

kurly says:
Yair Hoffman and Yeshiva World should be ashamed of themselves. He took the word of the irreligious brother, with a chip on his shoulder, for truth, without any investigation to the contrary. In fact, the baby in question was born in the hospital and the mother was 17 years old. Please stop spreading motzei shem ra.

Lakewood Jew says:
Pashut: I’m sure you sleep fine knowing that these people are being persecuted.
While i don’t condone their way of life. I do know that they have been given a bad rep by the press and by the Jewish media as a whole. We are all quick to judge on their terrible living conditions and actions without knowing the facts!

Readers' comments on the blog post:
Haredi Lev Tahor Cult Stopped From Fleeing To Rural Guatemala By Quebec Warrants.
Failed Messiah | May 14, 2014.

obtaining a certification of birth is a tactical error. what this means is that the lev Tahor's children will be deemed citizens of Canada rather than being Indigenous to Canada. As i understand it old Common law treaties prohibits the restriction or limits to indigenous travel or trade. Consequently, to ask for and be granted Citizenship ensures that you are given the rights of citizen protected by the charter of rights and freedom. But you also loose your independence, which will in turn allow the government a wider range of power to control or dictate your choices as they will.

Posted by: anchell | May 14, 2014 at 09:10 AM

These people have the right to travel wherever they choose.

Absent conviction for an actual crime (thought crimes don't count - sorry Shmarya), the government has no right to hold them in the hostile environment of Canada against their will.
Posted by: Atheist Anarcho-Capitalist | May 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Dear Jeff,

There isn't a more blatant way to admit that you cannot make a coherent argument, than to resort to personal attacks.

I was actually quite amused to see you descend into a fit of rabid rage, because it showed me that my words are really provoking you to think - and that makes you uncomfortable.

Like any ultra-religious person, you cannot handle that your deeply ingrained worldview is being challenged, so you lash out with hate and violence.

You see, there is little difference between those that worship god and those that worship the state. They behave quite similarly most of the time, including the persistent rejection of reason and scientific evidence.
Posted by: Atheist Anarcho-Capitalist | May 15, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Reader's comments on the blog post:
Leader Of Haredi Lev Tahor Cult Flees To Guatemala.
By Shmarya Rosenberg | Failed Messiah | June 24, 2014

UMMM . . . it seems the allegations of abuse by the quebec child services that was initially reported here has to some degree petered off.
Allegations of beatings with coat hangers, confinements and so forth have gone away and replaced by poor dental and bodily hygene. . . yada yada yada!
Of course ignoring the standardized educational curiculum doesn't help. But all in all, this whole saga strikes me as more of a matter of the invasive "business" of Big Government than a genuine interest in the well being of Lev Tahors members.
It is way too easy to cast a dark cloak over the Lev Tahor members (pardon the pun) so as make them appear to be villains. Would it not be much simplier and humanitarian to just hand them soap and tooth paste!

Posted by: anchell | June 25, 2014 at 09:45 AM

Shmarya . . . Don't go Green on me! If there is an Hell, i'll be the first one barred from entering. . . the bad guy just wouldn't be able to take the scrutiny.

As to your suggestion that somehow i've infiltrated this blog on behalf of the Lev Tahor's. I just want to suggest you, in the most gentile way possible, hold off with the labels and use your wits in your want to assess truth (if that is what you are seeking). I'm not here to harm or embarrass you or your reputation. I am just aware, and am not willing to turn a blind eye to the politicking that is so obvious to me with the Lev Tahors.

I see them as a group of people who dares to try living their lives according to their beliefs. It's nothing like i've lived mine, and quite possibly very different from how you have lived your's. More so, I don't fit well into convenient packaging. Formal religion has very little to do with my worldview.

Posted by: anchell | June 25, 2014 at 02:11 PM

. . .hmmm hmmm hmmm . . . Shmarya . . . *smiles* . . . yes i have consistently defended the Lev Tahors families that has been at the centre of this controversy. But as to why i came here, the first time i've ever felt the need to defend anyone was in defending you from some irate individual who was accusing you of being "self hating." At that time if believed and still believe you are doing your spiritual work.

Now, however, it is a totally different matter. In involves the disenfranchisement of several families. fathers, mothers, offsprings and siblings. That is not cool at all!

If what you are suggesting is true about these particular Lev Tahors, then the legal system will dole out whatever punishment it deems fit. I am not of the belief that at it now stands The Lev Tahors will be garnering much sympathy. Their out comes will be dire.

I for one am aware that it indeed takes a village to raise a child to the standard of being an upstanding citizen. At the very least it takes both parents to be onside, so to speak. I don't play with the sanctity of what we refer to as family. A family by necissity must be a whole and complete organic unit and respected as such. There better be some real and tangible evidence of neglect where children are concerned for me to drag a family apart. Support services and counseling (sp?) should be the priority.

And finally, you may not have noticed the global sweep of growing conservatism all around us, but it is troubling. In Quebec prior to the public exposure given to the Lev Tahors, the sitting government had proposed what it called a Values Charter. This charter was taking aim at all religions to a greater extent, while relenting on christians to the lesser extent.

I believed the timing of the Lev Tahor saga and this proposal was no coincidence. As it turned out, the Quebec's government's proposal for a values charter was a loosing one but it left me no choice but to decrie how unfit Targeting the Lev Tahors all appeared to me.

so now, am i trolling or am i sticking to the very little principles i may have?

Posted by: anchell | June 26, 2014 at 04:47 PM

jancibasci . . . i'll take it you are convinced that these particular Lev Tahor Families are guilty by association. That had they been accused of Terrorism (somthing completely distanced and unrelated to their present plight) you would just as readily believe it.

That belief is problematic for me. I hear here that they are abusing children. I read in the Toronto Star that the children are all happily playing and, equally important, all appear healthy. As to the neglect of the Children. We who claim we are civilized, learned individuals cannot reasonably expect to haul the entire globe into what we "believe" is best for them all.

A farmer must tender to his crops and land. A doctor administers to all sorts of ailments, many of which she cannot cure. An athelete is one who can use his cognitive and physical abilities to achieve success. Each requires a different tool to succeed. And may i suggest that success for the Lev Tahors is not to be measured by any of the above criteria. They are singularly directed and focused at connecting to the Creator through a chosen life style.

You argue that the children are in danger of abuse. Are they really? Are the Children in real danger? Parents are challenged everyday, everywhere and in everyway when raising children. Being a Lev Tahor does not, by itself make them, abusive parents.

The economy, lack of support, nutrition and personality are all factors in determining just what type of parent we become. Can you find potentially abusive parent/child situations with the Lev Tahors? As with any other group dynamic, yes! But not particularly more or particularly less. That it my belief. I want to see them succeed or fail on their own merit. And for the next family who want to try the same to be able to do so . . . end of story!

Posted by: anchell | June 26, 2014 at 05:23 PM

Shmarya . . . listen, while truth or rather some semblance of truth is important to me, being right is not. So i'm gonna back off on this topic. You may very well know more about this group than i do at present. I certainly am not as triggered into the extremes as you appear to be. So while this is not a retraction consider it a voluntary refrain. . . blessings.

Posted by: anchell | June 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Reader's comment on the article:
Custody, immigration issues continue for Lev Tahor families.
CTV Windsor | Published Thursday, July 17, 2014 6:01PM EDT

Jul. 20, 2014
1:57 AM
So interesting, Angie, free speech and rights to religion are obliterated. Imagine if someone left a comment about a bunch of gays leaving the country - thanks for leaving, your ways are not the ways of Canada... there would be an outrage. If people choose to live by a religion... is this not their right? Bearing in mind there remains no proof to any of the claims. Your comment shows a release of baseless hatred which remains hidden under your "politically correct Canadian smile".

Readers' comments on the article:
Who is Lev Tahor, the 'Jewish Taliban'?
By Elon Gilad | Haaretz | September 4, 2014.

the men are dressed head to toe too
By jew

05 Sep 2014

If the men are dressed head to toe, why do so many secular people care if the women are too? Oh I'm sorry, in the secular world women always have to dress in a sexual manner, right? In fact, the female clothes are probably way more comfortable than the male clothes considering they are loose. Imagine wearing those suits all summer as man.

Taliban is a deflecting name
04 Sep 2014

Lev Tahor is part and parcel of the jewish traidition. Calling them Taliban is a deflection and cheap tactic.

Readers' comments on the article:
Profile of a Haredi Cult.
By Shmarya Rosenberg | Failed Messiah | January 25, 2016.

". . . as for rationale and reasoning, what 'right' does the one sane man have in holding to moral and ethically right values when he knows he is in a room filled with ninety nine insane others?

What the Lev Tahor constituents have had to answer to has been insurmountable from the onset. What concerns me most is the affects on Religious freedom that is implied by many of the agenda driven agents and third party hires involved.

Perhaps as a sign of the times, it is clear here that one can rarely defy big Government and expect success as a final outcome. The Lev Tahor's religious fate and legacy has been subverted and cocooned. And, similarly our freedom to choose and to hold to our beliefs - whatever they may be - have suffered another blow."
By anchell

January 27, 2016 at 10:44 AM


. . . What I am aware of is the climate at the time when the Lev Tahor chose to flee Quebec en mass. The articles I've read suggested to me that I proceed cautiously. And while there are and continue to be questions of underage marriages (16 yrs. the minimum required age in Quebec) There has not to this point been any confirmation legally that that is so.

As to some of the earlier allegations, the use of corporal punishment, grounding, etc., The best parents do to some degree of acceptability dole out some form of punishment. And not all should be considered or labelled abuse.

But to be clear, I am not denying nor defending those practices we now judge as abhorrent. Not when trans-culturally the marriage threshold in question, has been very similar. That is to say, readiness begins somewhere near or at the age of puberty in a great many cultures.

It is not in keeping with modern thinking of course, but the Lev Tehor group have no pretence of being modern. And to be fair. they should not be judged by newer text, but rather by prescribed old text. That is because they have "chosen" this earlier life style on their own accord. And at the core of their choices, are their religious beliefs. And freedom of religion and belief is considered an inexorable right in Canada.

Here's the first link I came across when searching for the verifiable ages of Lev Tahor women. Make note that they do not hide their "belief" that 13yrs. of age is appropriate, they have stated a willingness to abide by the Provincial Laws:

By anchell

January 27, 2016 at 2:25 PM


. . . *smiles*. . . Nice analogy.

However, my thoughts behind the endorsements of the Lev Tehors is in keeping with their right to be free. And in being able to choose how to live their lives as prescribed by the creator.

Consequently by the same analogy I would further endorse, not the slave owner, but the enslaved. Who similarly would also be deprived of their freedom and right to choose adherence to the path of the creator.

My held beliefs has more to do with allowing freedom to the vulnerable or enslaved (the oppressed group L.T.) than it is about the ability of the enabled to enslave the vulnerable.

It is not about the rights of those whose privilege would enable them to chose to oppress another, but of those who are under the hand and subjected to such oppression.

In keeping, it has less to do with man's laws but rather proffers the adherence to divine principles. And yes I'm aware that slavery in some instances appears to be acceptable in the Torah. But there are scales and degrees of what learnings we choose to undertake on the path of ascension.

If for example we have learned sufficiently and to the point of accepting that it is better for all that we "not do unto others as we would not have others do unto us." Then collectively we would give no consideration to enslaving another. If solely because we would not wish to ourselves be enslaved.

As well, issues such as child abuse can be scrutinized and judged to be inappropriate where there are clear instances of say, depravation or excess floggings etc., but that too have it's limitations. And those limitations are hinged on preconditioned outcomes.

To move on, I've read a direct quotes or two from a 17yrs., old mother of the Lev Tahors. And, what struck me was her earnestness in wanting to see to the needs of her child who had been taken away by the authorities. Her deliberation as to the well being of her offspring did not present itself as cultish.

It was truth, more so, it was the 'normal' with which I am connect to. And ultimately what I know. The rest, the cultish labelling, and so on serves only to distance me from that truth.

You are not happy with this, I know! But neither tribal wars as we have with the Lev Tahor, nor Global Wars (elsewhere around us), are the answer to the pains we all must endure. Seek better and we will find better."
By anchell

January 27, 2016 at 9:49 PM

Note: See also the website of the Lev Tahor community. For additional thoughtful commentary go to: Public support for the Lev Tahor community. To read a well-documented explanation of the events as they unfolded in the community and the courts before, during and after the 1994 conviction of Rabbi Helbrans in the USA for kidnapping, see "With Liberty and Justice for All...? The Trial and Prosecution of Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans." By Yacob Y. Zick, 1997.