A federal judge has sentenced Lev Tahor cult leaders Nachman Helbrans and Mayer Rosner to 144 months (12 years) in prison followed by 5 years of supervised released for the 2018 Shabbos kidnapping of two children who escaped the cult
Back in November of 2021, Helbrans and Rosner were found guilty on all six charges they faced, including conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and conspiracy to commit international parental kidnapping.
Several other Lev Tahor cultists have been arrested in connection with the case, including brothers Yoel, Yaakov, and Shmiel Weingarten, who were picked up by Guatemala authorities earlier this year.
They are expected to be extradited to the United States to face charges and a trial.
Three others in the United States are reportedly cooperating with authorities.
YWN has been at the forefront for more than 10 years fighting the Lev Tahor cult – with dozens of articles over the years. YWN has spoken to many victims of the Lev Tahor cult who managed to escape. To say they were terribly abused sexually, suffering constant violent beatings, forced starvation and other horrific abuse, would be an understatement. The world is a safer place now that these two monsters are behind bars. Our hope is that the rest of the leadership in charge of this cult are arrested and thrown behind bars.
YWN has received many, many emails and phone calls from desperate parents and siblings of cult members who were unfortunately sucked into this nightmare and have lost contact with their loved ones. Most importantly, all possible efforts should be made to save children who are being dragged around the world now as this cult is on the run. Rescuing these children is literally Pikuach Nefashos.
Lev Tahor was founded and led by Shlomo Helbrans, from the 1980s until his drowning death in Mexico in 2017. Since then, the leadership has moved into the hands of his son Nachman Helbrans, along with Mayer Rosner, and Yankel and Yoel Weingarten – who are even more radical and aggressive than the late founder.
In 2014, YWN ran an article titled “Cults and the War of the Jewish Magazines” in response to Mishpacha and Ami magazines running articles on Lev Tahor. Mishpacha Magazine had run a fifteen page “expose” on the group, essentially describing Lev Tahor as a cult that has some serious issues involving medicating children, and behaviors that resemble child abuse. Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter of Ami Magazine claimed the exact opposite – and ran the following sentence below their headline, “The unjust persecution of a group of pious Jews, and the unsettling silence of the Jewish community.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
think dont get involved in these sick cases
have enough other issues
This evil came out cheap. Hopefully the jail will dismantle him there, die in jail. He abused hundreds of people. He has no right to exist. This damn cult must disappear from the world, and fast !!!
All this just in nick of time still in אדר השני a time of good מזל for these hostages kidnapped on the holy שבת
I greatly appreciate YWN for recalling what Frankfurter and his publication did to thousands of readers who then & now find themselves contemplating taking the side of a sinister cult because of what they read in the rag called Ami Magazine.
There are good people who work there, like Jake Turx. They would do well to leave & to start something of their own with the editorial standards that Frankfurter fails to provide Ami, and with the freedom from the shackles of the Frankfurter/Lifschitz agenda. If they do that, the Frum community will have the fruits of great unobstructed talent.
The simcha for Klal Yisroel is immense. May the rest of these abusive apikorsim be similarly incarcerated and kept away from society. May all of Klal Yisroel be better able to recognize the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, the evil people who wear holy cloaks and dupe the vulnerable into veering from our Yiddishkeit and Torah life into this cult that indoctrinates their victims into heresy. Abusers should all be locked away.
YWN, you gave me much joy. I hope to see similarly harsh sentences for the rest of these resho’im.
Twelve years in prison for these horrific crimes is nothing. It should be life in prison just for the kidnapping alone.
Bilfol oyivcha al tismach
Binfol oyivcha al tismach
You cant really blame R’ Frankfurter because back then it either wasnt as bad or wasnt known to be as bad.
He would probably take it back now.
remember all those ppl who said “we’ll never close the shuls” and then 2 weeks later – closed down?
I am glad you were able to once again malign Mishpacha and Ami. After all a publication like YWN that never ever got anything wrong should point out how bad everyone else is.
one sad fact; these guys have essentially been in jail since their arrest more than 2 years ago … and somehow this group continues to survive
How come you haven’t chimed in yet about this “anti-Semitic” verdict against these holy-dressing folks and informed us all how to contribute to their pidyon shevuyim fund?
I’m not sure why you are screaming about Rabbi Frankfurter, does nobody remember when Rav Pam Zatza”l signed a letter to get Helbranz out of jail, and Rav Dovid Schustel Shlit”a made a parlor meeting in his house?
We are all human we can make mistakes.
This is pure loshon horah.
That’s not nearly enough time for this monster!!!!
YWN did not malign Mishpacha
Does this mean he’ll get parole in 6 years?
Just like Trump’s ‘Russian conspiracy’ was a lie and fabrication that probably many commentators here believed, just like most of the western world embraced the lies about yoshkele, so too the us courts have twisted the truth.
Dofi, I enjoy to better keep you in suspense during this calm before the storm.
HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Palm ZT”L and YBL”C HaGaon HaRav Dovid Schustel Shlit”a did NOT make a mistake. They absolutely did the right thing.
@Chaylev Halyah: No. when AMI came out with that outrageous article it was long known what a horrible cult it was. Rabbi Frankfurter did a terrible disservice to his readership with that article. People were so outraged by it that some thought it would spell the demise of AMI. But I guess everyone just looked the other way because they enjoy everything else about AMI.
AMI is mostly OK except for its tendency to sometimes publish “click bait” headlines and story’s designed to get people to think there is some major story here, only to read it and scratch your head thinking now what is such a big deal about that? Also Turx is getting nauseating with his constant barrage of puns every single week. We get it he is pro Trump and anti Biden. But how about some real substance instead of word plays. How many questions has he asked Jen Psaki lately if ever? What does he even do lately in the WH besides crack jokes or puns?
So you think Lev Tahor is authentic Yiddeshkeit? Man, you need help
2018 Shabbos kidnapping of two children Unfortunately for them קם ליה בדרב מיניה didn’t work out, so despite the more severe violation of חילול שבת , it didn’t work to exempt them from kidnapping charges & prison time despite these 2 violation being 1 act.
ish hashalom & ujm – rav pam and 20 others DID make a mistake , i went in the car with rav pam to RIKERS TO VISIT HELBRANS noach deer was the driver , and helbrans asked rav pam to ask the warden to allow ear plugs so he would not hear the tv noise , i also was in the car with harav naftulche bobov zatz”l & the melbourner rav zatzl driven by mr green on the way back for the court appearance where numerous rebbes went , skulen , rav pam , ….. it was a massive mistake because on the surface it seemed sincere.. i can go on & on w the details behind the scenes .. pataki….
Anyone who ever defended LT had a dog in the fight. No question about it.
There would only be one reason to defend these animals: They wanted to defend the actions and the evil men to normalize their behavior in our community.
Shame on that “Rabbi.”
So YWN continues their self delusion that they have been “fighting” the LT cult like Yad L’Achim actively goes out & fights missionaries.
Writing exposes is nice and commendable but it is not fighting.
Hopefully, in general population! Should’ve been castrated too!
Anyone who defends these murderers, kidnappers and abusers just because they wear long black coats has serious mommy issues, at the very least.
Meir G: Nothing you said indicates that the 20+ Gedolei HaDor that you speak of, from Rav Pam, Rav Schustel, the Bobover Rebbe, the Skulener Rebbe, the Melbourner, etc made a mistake whatsoever. All these multitudes of Gedolei Yisroel were 100% correct then and they are still 100% correct today.
You’ve offered nothing other than boich svaras as to why you think the Gedolim were wrong whereas the internet commentators are correct. All you’ve offered is your personal opinion and feelings. Nothing more. All you have isal a bunch
… Internet articles and comments condemning Jews with falsehoods.
The Gedolim knew and know better. They went personally themselves to help him.
Whether the various Gedolim who visited Shlomo Helbrans in jail thirty years ago were right or wrong is water under the bridge since he subsequently drowned to death in Mexico. It doesn’t change the fact that these murderous, abusive, kidnapping monsters have now been convicted of their crimes and are getting locked away. If you’re twisted enough to defend them just because they wear long black coats, perhaps you should join this merry band as they run from country to country committing crimes, get extradited and finally thrown in jail. They’d be happy to have you.