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March 16, 2012


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Use Gloves

but mainly they are passed from hand to hand, under the table

Doesn't sound sanitary to me. I hope they are using gloves don't want to read a post here about some virus being spread because of this unsafe practice.


Lev Tahor is a vile cult. Just ask Mr. Fhima who lost a finger in his efforts to get his son back. This article is a white wash of a dangerous cult.

Yochanan Lavie

To see where a chareidi theocracy would lead, read "The Handmaid's Tale," a novel about a fictional Christian theocracy in America.

John Nagle, Silicon Valley, CA

Yet another cult. Sigh.


I would love to get a copy of that book and have people in my community read it, just to see what their take would be and which ones would agree that it was speaking the holy truth (whether or not they decide to follow the pronouncements) and which would condemn it as extremism.


I would love to get a copy of that book and have people in my community read it, just to see what their take would be and which ones would agree that it was speaking the holy truth (whether or not they decide to follow the pronouncements) and which would condemn it as extremism.


This sounds like a meeting with Don Corleone.


So why is this cult different from all other cults?


So why is this cult different from all other cults?

Posted by: Sarek | March 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM

I give up--why?


So, Shoshi, where can we get a copy of the book?

I, too, would like to read it.


it's not different. If it demands total obedience, forbids leaving, requires your money, and threatens the wrath of God for non-compliance, it's a cult like any other cult.
Throw in "the leader is God", child brides, and sometimes child molestation for no extra charge.

Eli, apprentice messiah superstar just without the Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtrack

This is just.... depressing! I feel so sad for these people.
After that, I think we need more on Chabad rabbis and kinky sex to lift our spirits.

Yochanan Lavie songwriter extraordinaire

So why is this cult different from all other cults?

Posted by: Sarek | March 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM

A bit early for Pesach, don't ya think?




Seems like an investigation by D.A. would be in order and fast.


This is a very weak article that minimizes Helbrans' crimes and minimizes the danger of Lev Tahor, which is clearly a cult.

Yeah. Thanks for posting this article, it has helped greatly in removing negative conceptions I had regarding Helbrans and his group. It seems like a much nicer place than 99% of what's available to Jews. tavo alav bracha!

Adam Zur

I knew him is Safed. (His name then was Erez Shelomo Halberns). He is magnetic and charismatic is a very high degree. He was a disciple of Rav Shelmo Shick. Rav Shick stayed in the home of Erez every time he came to Safed and showed him great warmth. Erez at the time was trying to create a yeshiva on the name of Rebbi Nachman in Safed--but this did not succeed. Later Abraham Traceman tried to start a building project in Safed and even spend a few thousand dollars to have an architect draw up the building plans. This also did not succeed. The major problem was the Breslov community did not want competistion and did a lot of very dirty tricks to stop the establishing of another breslov community in Safed. One example is that when Erez managed to get permission to start a yeshiva he and put a Breslov sign on it. People from the Breslov community pulled down the sign and beat him up to an inch of his life and he spent a few days in the local hospital. There were many more events like this. The major issue here was money. The Breslov in Safed were making millions of dollars in regular trips to the USA by representing themselves as the true Breslov community in Israel. They did not want any competition.
Erez eventually left Rav shick and that is where the history in the article starts.
But it is important to note that everything that was written in the newspaper Haaretz about the period that I know something about was all wrong. It makes me wonder if this is their standard of accuracy?

Robert Wisler

From what I'm reading, this entire group will end up committing mass suicide within a few years.


Sad. Yet another sect of people looking to be holier than thou. Why do all these baal teshuva Sefardim have to speak Yiddish? Why not Ladino or some other pidgin language? It's sad how these people have such an inferiority complex, and have to imitate the Eastern European chassidim in everything.

As for the blessing that men recite each morning, thanking God “who did not make me a woman,” they say it actually attests to a flaw that exists in men. “I was created exactly in accordance with God’s will,” says L. “I say, ‘Blessed is He, who created me in accordance with His will.’ This is His perfection. Woman was created complete with no need to compare her to any other creature. Hashem created the world and woman’s nature. He did not create her so she should be unhappy with His creation. A woman who walks in the path of the Torah is one hundred percent happy with this.”

This is a common apologetic explanation. However, all the early commentators on this bracha explain it to be a kind of resignation by the woman saying the bracha; that she doesn't understand why she is inferior to men, but is resigned to the fact.


You sanhedrin a machallell shabbos what makes you so interested in brochos.


Zur, the issue with the Bar Mitzvah boy in New Jersey is really all you need to know. It was widely reported in many newspapers at the time, It is unacceptable to manipulate a young boy to go against his family period.
The man is dangerous, period.

I think it speaks highly of the Breslovers that they didn't want anything to do with him.

I am surprised that you are ignoring this and painting him as a victim. Or do you beleive that doing so called Mitzvos is all that matters?


Look, the man is an alluring, charismatic individual. Add to that fanaticism and you've got a recipe flavorful to BT's and outcasts.
IMHO he is a danger to himself and society.


check out this book about hell brands kidnapping:


Adams: I was only reporting on Safed. In In Safed Erez was basically OK. He was just trying there to help Rav Shick to start a community that would learn Torah and keep mitzvot in the path described by rebbi nachman. Though rav shick is highly controversial in breslov i have first hand experience. From my experience rav shicks path is highly kosher and highly moral. The problem in most of breslov is not the written words but the oral law--the unspoken norms of behavior. Breslov partakes of a characteristic that is is highly acceptable to sucker people--especially rich reform Jews. This is not only acceptable but comes close to being a mitzvah. Rav shick does not partake of that trait.


"Breslov partakes of a characteristic that is is highly acceptable to sucker people"

"Rav shick does not partake of that trait."

What, pray tell, are you talking about. Please come right out and state it, because I can not decipher your cryptic post.


i am saying that in chasidut there are two codes of law. One is the written code. this is usually quite attractive and seductive. The second code is the secret rules. (the oral law of chasidut). these rules are often very different that the written rules an sometimes contradict the written rules. For example honesty in business. Honesty is in all versions of chasidyt an important rule. yet the unwritten rules go in the opposite direction. It usually goes like this. A person present himself as doing some public service in order to get contributions from rich reform Jews. then he uses the funds in a different way. But this is relatively benign. sometimes it involves much worst things. But the common denominator is that is is permitted to lie to reform Jews to get money of some other advantage out of them.

Katherine Forbes

I have a very wide experience with Muslim women. They are very conservative. However, are others are not. Thus, calling themselves non-Muslims in religion. They have a very strict culture.


I never thought cults like these still exist even in the west. I was thinking that it is only finding way in developing countries.

Alicia Goldman

I really don't get it why people join cult. What do they get from it? Are their lives that empty?


Don't drink the "kosher Kool Aid" from the Lev Tahor!

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