web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



‘Jewish Taliban’ Ordered to Return to Quebec

The group left Quebec for Ontario last week. They all left at once, in the middle of the night, in rented buses.
Nachman Helbrans, oldest son of Lev Tahor's leader.

Nachman Helbrans, oldest son of Lev Tahor's leader.

There is a small, tight-knit and strict community of Jews currently in Canada who call themselves “Lev Tahor,” which means “pure heart.” The group is also known by the nickname “the Jewish Taliban.”

This sect is considered an extremist group even by haredi standards.  Probably a short hand way to explain that is the women members wear clothing that resemble burkas. The group has about 200 members.  It is anti-Zionist and has been residing in Quebec, near Montreal, for the past ten years.

However, there have been difficulties between the Canadian authorities and the Lev Tahor sect, primarily over the issues of educating their youth.  In addition, there are ongoing child welfare investigations prompted by outsiders or relatives of the sect members who allege the children don’t have proper hygiene, are neglected and suffer from psychological abuse.  There are also rumors of forced marriages.

The primary issue, according to Nachman Helbrans, the sect leader’s oldest son, is education.  The Lev Tahor’s belief system rejects evolution and the Quebec school requires that all children within the province, even those who are home-schooled, must have curricula that is equivalent to the public schools. Failure to comply with that requirement could mean that the children of group members could be removed from their families and placed in protective services.  That is not something Lev Tahor could tolerate.

The group left Quebec for Ontario last week.  They all left at once, in the middle of the night, in rented buses.

Critics said the group fled a child welfare investigation, while Helbrans said it had been a planned departure because there was no way the group could accede to the Quebec education requirements, and Ontario’s standards are more relaxed.  Leaving in the middle of the night ensured that most of the children would sleep through the trip.

Monday, Nov. 25, a Quebec judge ordered two of the Lev Tahor families who are now in Ontario to return to Quebec for a hearing with child protection officials.  That hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Nachman Helbrans told The Star that the families would attend the hearing.

“Legally, they don’t have to go back to court, but they decided to go back just to honour the court.”

Canada is not the only country doing battle with the Lev Tahor.

Actually, the sect has its roots in Israel. The senior Helbrans was born in Kiryas Yoel.  He moved to the United States where he and his followers formed Lev Tahor.  In 1992, Shlomo Helbrans was convicted of kidnapping a 12 year old boy from the Yeshiva where Helbrans taught. His defense was that the boy wanted to be part of Lev Tahor. Helbrans served two years in prison. Following his release, Helbrans was deported to Israel in 2000.

However, by 2003, Shlomo Helbrans and his family moved to Canada.  They entered that country after receiving refugee status. Helbrans claimed he was being persecuted in Israel. The Lev Tahor believe there should not be a Jewish state until the coming of the Messiah, and until that time Jews should not have power in Israel.

A son of the group’s leader fled the group and moved back to Israel.  According to Nachman Helbrans, this brother was in a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife, left for Israel, and then claimed his children were being neglected.  Several children from that family were removed and sent to live in Israel with the father.

This month a Knesset committee scheduled hearings on the Lev Tahor sect. Knesset member Yariv Levin called the group before the Child Welfare Committee.  Among the charges raised against the group are: placing people in solitary confinement, forcing little girls into marriages with old men, forcing loving couples to divorce, and hitting children with tire irons.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

12 Responses to “‘Jewish Taliban’ Ordered to Return to Quebec”

  1. Adonai zegen jullie shalom en chanorka feest

  2. very strange to see Jewish people turn against their own people, and I dont believe Jewish people wear burkas, but to not want their children to learn about evolution that should be the parents choice, not regulated by government.

  3. Alan Kardon says:

    Based on the statements above, if true, I do not consider them Jews. They do not fit into any category that resembles Jewish thinking. It is a shame that we have to be associated with this trash labeled as Jews. They are truly an embarrassment to humanity.

  4. Saralea Altman says:

    Perhaps the information needs to be authenticated before there are comments.

  5. Gwen Pooley says:

    Yes, it did happen.

  6. Bryna Gartenberg says:

    They left, ostensibly afraid to follow the educational curriculum set out by the Quebec government. But Youth Protection was aware that the children had dental problems, poor hygiene and poor diet. This sect is anti-Israel and very reclusive. The kids had no education in either English or French. They were isolated from the world around them.

  7. That does not resemble a burkha. It resembles a chador.

  8. Leo Erwin says:

    They are as jewish as you and me…they just read the Torah differently…as do many religious factions….this group is really cultic shall we say….but just the same they are jews….and still in the dark age thinking….

  9. I am inclined to agree with you; painting them as the "Jim Jones" cult of Judaism isn't helping…but they need to read on, they are missing some important details of Torah!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest News Stories
First Day of School

It’s Rosh Chodesh Elul, and that means school has begun in the Chareidi school system.

Dell Smitherman at The Jewish Press.

Smitherman has witnessed firsthand both how damaging income inequality has been to the poor and how it negatively impacts families and communities.

Nick Di Iorio at The Jewish Press last week.

“It was embarrassing to be asked, Why is Egypt right now a better ally than America? Why is Israel doing more than the U.S. to protect Israel?”

The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz

Has Netanyahu ever heard of Lincoln’s phrase, “You cannot fool all of the people all of the time?”

This shot may have come from a Syrian tank…

Hamas recently indicated to international press that it would continue building up its underground network while restocking arsenal, rockets and other weaponry

Iran vowed on Monday to “accelerate” its rearming of PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria, one day after it claimed that it shot down an Israeli spy drone over its airspace.

The case of missing U.S. yeshiva student Aaron Sofer, studying in Israel, remains unsolved after six days.

“We are strong chassidic women and we take the name, we embrace it, and we own it.”

After a month, should the quiet hold, Israel and Hamas will restart indirect negotiations in Cairo on easing Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip and disarming the enclave.

Israel’s political landscape awoke Wednesday to the latest ceasefire with a sharp round of criticism for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and jostling for position amongst senior politicians who have begun to smell the aroma of early elections, possibly in the first half of 2015.

Palestinian terrorists threw stones at Jewish-owned cars in the Wadi Joz section of Jerusalem Wednesday. Three children were injured and treated on the spot. A 22-year-old man was arrested, and police told Israel Radio the man has confessed to other incidents as well. In Shuafat, in northern Jerusalem, Palestinians threw rocks at the Jerusalem light […]

Nearly 90 percent of Gaza residents support attacks on Israel, say rockets help ‘deterrence’

Chaim Yellin: We don’t want government support. We need quiet in the morning.

Mortar fire crossed the border into northern Israel from Syria near Quneitra. Two cars were damaged. Accidental shelling?

NYC lawmaker Laurie Cumbo presses Miami-Dade officials to find Rabbi Joseph Raksin’s murderer.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
William Schabas, named to chair the UNHRC Commission on Gaza, deep  its his repeated denunciations of Israeli leaders as war criminals.

Simon Wiesenthal Center called on US to denounce the rigged UNHRC Commission on Gaza.

Gazan children celebrate what they believe is a Hamas victory against Israel, with the Aug. 26 cease-fire.

Neither side achieved its stated goal: the Gaza blockade will not be lifted and Hamas will not be disarmed.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

The US has been sidelined in the Middle East. Egypt, the UAE and the Saudis are the new police force.

Rockets launched at Jerusalem were fired from Gazan schools compound.

Al Qaeda affiliate released an American journalist on Sunday, Aug. 24.

Whether Hamas IS equivalent to ISIS or Hamas simply hearts ISIS remains unclear.

Hamas murdered a 4 yr old Israeli boy with a rocket launched next to an UNRWA school/shelter for Gazan refugees.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-taliban-ordered-to-return-to-quebec/2013/11/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: