WHILE IN JAIL! Lev Tahor Cult Plotted to Abduct Children AGAIN – Fight Mother “TO THE DEATH”

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Yante and Chaim Teller

As reported on YWN earlier this week, federal authorities arrested a 5th member of the Lev Tahor Cult, in connection to a plot to once again abduct two children who had escaped from the cult in Guatemala.

[Yechezkel] Matityau Moshe Malka appeared in federal court in White Plains, New York, on Tuesday on kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges.

The FBI said Malka and other members of Lev Tahor planned to kidnap 14-year-old Yante Teller and her 12-year old brother Chaim Teller, three months after they were taken from their mother in upstate New York – on a Shabbos morning and later recovered by law enforcement in Mexico.

Authorities said Malka gave several cellphones to the girl in Brooklyn, so that cult leaders — including Sara’s brother, Nachman, who is incarcerated in Westchester County Jail — could talk secretly to her about her recapture.

The indictment states that, speaking by phone in Yiddish, an unnamed member of the cult in Guatemala — likely one of two brothers named Weingarten — “used violent language” toward the children’s mother, “including that he will fight the mother until the last drop of blood and that they will fight her to the death.”

“I will take them out from under your hands,” the “boss” warned the mom of her children – during a call she secretly recorded for the feds, the indictment said.

“And will take them back to their [cult member] father, with God’s help,” the unnamed leader allegedly threatened in the phone call. He “indicated that there are people in New York prepared to execute” another kidnapping.

[CLICK HERE to read the full indictment]

Authorities charged four other members of Lev Tahor in December with abducting the same boy and girl and taking them out of the country. The children eventually were found in the Mexican town of Tenango del Aire and reunited with their mother in New York.

The criminal complaint says Lev Tahor considers the 14-year-old girl to be the wife of Jacob Rosner, one of the men charged in the December kidnapping.

The indictment states the Cult was especially hell-bent on re-capturing the girl, so that she couldn’t testify against them.

A message seeking comment was sent to Malka’s defense attorney.

The mother had been a member of Lev Tahor — her father, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, founded the sect in 1994 — but fled the group last year after its leadership, which include her brother Mayer Rosner, became increasingly extreme, according to the FBI.

[PIDYON SHVUYIM?! Is There a Mitzvah To Assist The Imprisoned Lev Tahor Cult Leaders? – Halachic Analysis]

Lev Tahor practices include women and girls wearing black head-to-toe coverings day and night, arranged marriages between teenagers, and a violent form of Malkos. Lev Tahor only permits certain fruits and vegetables to be eaten, as well as whole wheat flour made into bread with a stone press.

[LEV TAHOR HORROR: Tales of Beatings and Torture Emerge From Excommunicated Cult Members]

Former members of Lev Tahor (who either escaped or were otherwise expelled) do not recall learning Mishnayos or Gemara, nor any Mitzvos Bein Adam LeChaveiro. They spend the majority of the day in deep prayer and are only allowed to study certain sections of the Chumash, with Lev Tahor commentary.

Reports indicate cult leaders have suggested death as better alternative than life outside the cult.

YWN has been at the forefront for more than 10 years fighting the Lev Tahor cult – with dozens of articles over the years.

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, Yankel and Yoel Weingarten, who are even more radical and aggressive than the late founder.

Internal documents of Lev Tahor show that Shlomo Helbrans made his followers swear and sign to uphold the following principles among others.

(1) Everyone must negate his or her mind and mind thoroughly and completely, to the leader of Lev Tahor.

2) They must subjugate soul, spirit, and will.

3) Each man accepts upon his descendants and descendant’s descendants until the end of all generations to be subjugated under the will of Lev Tahor’s leader.. this should be said openly to the leader himself.

4) Everyone must be ready at any time and moment of 24 hours of the day, whether on the Shabbath and Yom Tov, summer and winter, healthy or sick, to do the will of the leader.

5) Whether the person is a young man or an old man, virgins and women they must accept to do the will of the leader.

6) They must agree to throw away all his physical needs, including eating sleep and rest until he fulfills the desires the leader.

7) It is the obligation of each of them at the beginning of the morning prayers to recite and accept upon themselves all of the above with full mouth and supreme joy.

Some observers have written that these are signs of a cult. Indeed, this was the position of an author of an article that appeared in Mishpacha Magazine. Others, however, claim that there is nothing cult-like about the movement. Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter of Ami Magazine met with Helbrans and assured his readership that it was not a cult, even though a previous Ami article stated that it was.

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 Magzaine 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. 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.”

Originally a citizen of Israel, cult leader Shlomo Helbrans went to the United States where he was convicted for kidnapping in 1994 and served a two-year prison term before being deported to Israel in 2000. He then settled in Canada.

In 1994 he was convicted in Brooklyn for the 1992 kidnapping of 13-year-old Shai Fhima Reuven, a Bar Mitzvah boy he was tutoring, and served a two-year prison term in the U.S. He was originally sentenced to four to 12 years in prison, but in June 1996 an appeals court reduced the sentence to two to six years. Three days later, he was placed in the work release program for prisoners less than two years away from the possibility of parole, where inmates are freed from prison if they have a job. After protests, he was moved back to prison.

The high-profile case drew much attention in the U.S., and gained further attention when Helbrans successfully convinced New York prison authorities to waive their requirement that all prisoners be shaved for a photograph upon entering prison, and to accept a computer-generated image of what he would have looked like clean-shaven instead. After the State Parole Board decided in November 1996 to release Helbrans after two years in prison, the case rose to near scandal with suspicions that the Pataki administration was providing him special treatment.

After his release from prison, Helbrans ran a yeshiva in Monsey, N.Y., and was deported to Israel in 2000. He then settled in Canada, where in 2003 he was granted refugee status, claiming his life was being threatened in Israel.

Helbrans and his followers had arrived in Mexico’s southern Chiapas province after spending three years in Guatemala. They had travelled to Guatemala from Canada, where child-protection authorities were moving to seize children allegedly suffering from neglect.

The group had been established on the outskirts of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, north of Montreal, for more than a decade before Quebec authorities began paying close attention. As they prepared to move in to protect children in the sect in late 2013, community members left en masse overnight for Chatham, Ontario. Before the next summer, they had moved on to Guatemala.

Court documents used by Quebec police to obtain warrants alleged that Lev Tahor girls as young as 13 and 14 in the community were routinely married off to much older men. The allegations in the documents, which became public after the sect had fled and were never proven in court, included sexual and physical abuse of children.

(Nat Golden – YWN)




36 COMMENTS

  1. I think it’s important that the public get to know the source of their funding. Once ther $$ is cut off these guys are out of business.

  2. She is a daughter of Mr Helbrans and a sister to Mr Rosner? I don’t get it. Sad thing is that the chances of these 2 kids being able to go on and live as healthy functional adults is already quite compromised.

  3. Perhaps a way to stop these extremists is to put anyone who supports into chayrim. A kol Koray from hundreds of Chasideshe Rabbeim/Admorim that those supporters will not get aliyahs nor will the supporters of cults be honored with their presence at any of their Simchos. Such a kol koray posted in every shul, beis midrash might help stop this craziness.
    Hashem y’rachem al omecho.

  4. These people are psycho- they are beating up their own people and setting a bad example of Judaism for the world. Are they doing this to be supported for free? Seriously, those people are mentally insane!

  5. The anti Lev Tahor commentators here are in breach of severe Lashon Hara punishments by supporting the anti Lev Tahor press and reports.
    These commentators are relying on the goyishe type understanding of Judaism and the inherent centuries old bias against Jews and Judaism.
    Do not listen to the evil commentators and the evil press and reporters.

  6. It is very difficult when the girl is as old as 14 and probably does think she wants to return. The longer she can be kept out the more chance she can be saved from this group.
    There needs to be more publicity that this is a very extreme group who are even worse than they used to be. They clearly have sympathisers in New York who might help abuct all the children back.

  7. Ready:

    Having obtained information from Lev Tahor refugees, I happen to know that the extent of frank abuse that goes on there is extreme, and unacceptable by any Torah standards. The rules of the cult, as published here on YWN, is accurate, and this is more avodah zarah than bearing resemblance to Torah Judaism. So you need to stop your garbage about lashon horah. You are supporting rodfim who are physically hurting our children and spiritually destroying many others. May you and your ilk either be imprisoned somewhere that leaves our society safe, or otherwise severely punished for the worst of aveiros. Don’t bother telling me that what I was told by those who have escaped or been rescued is untrue. You have consistently lied in our comments here, and you do not have a presumption of innocence or honesty.

  8. “The little I know”.

    There are conflicting reports as to what actually took placde in Lev Tahor, so what gives every one a right to be meikal in Hilchos Loshon Hora!

  9. to ready now and his gang
    when all else fails pull out the lashon hara card
    schfechas domim literally is ok
    gilu aryeis up geret by these perverts
    and avodah zara serving helbrans
    all three are ok
    loshon hara is the problem!!!!!

  10. Useless brains:

    I challenge you to begin to prove your position. Here are my questions.

    1. What exactly are the “rules” of your cult? The set that is published by YWN has been verified by the eyewitnesses I know. Are any of the ones you believe to be the rules different, and in what way?

    2. Those rescued from your cult all manifest symptoms of PTSD. Upon evaluation, they strangely report the identical experiences. How do they have such converging stories if the accusations are just made up?

    3. If there is something “holy” about your cult, why is there zero recognition by any single Gadol in Klal Yisroel? Even chassidishe and litvishe, or sefardim and ashkenazim, who may disagree on many things have no problem recognizing the gadlus of the talmidei chachomim from other groups.

    4. Why does your cult continually seek to isolate themselves from all other groups in Klal Yisroel, to the point of kidnapping any defectors and hovering threats?

    Notice that I am not asking why your cult makes dietary rules that have no Torah origin. I am not even inquiring about your dress codes that are also not based on the laws of tznius. I am focused on understanding what connection to Torah exists, as we are nearly unanimous in seeing this cult as not Jewish, and abusive in so many ways.

    Ready or not: You are also invited to present a clear and coherent response.

  11. Many top Torah leaders are discreetly supporting Lev Tahor and avoid arguing with you DESPICABLE trolls on the internet, as this is a matter of pikuach nefesh.

    There is a video out, a long time ago, of an ex-member of LT explaining that he was given the choice to stop using secular media for entertainment, but decided to leave Lev Tahor instead. He was not “kidnapped” back in.They, LT, do not want to corrupt themselves, so the regular Torah prohibitions are enforced.
    As for seeking “to isolate themselves from all other groups”, yes, from secularism, but they have been actively and maliciously pursued by Canadian authorities and unjustly so, leaving to South America, to stay together and keep Torah.
    You detractors of LT a bunch of evil zealots.

  12. ready:

    I have personally spoken to many Torah leaders. They have been unanimous in condemning the cult as not Torah based, and refuse to give even slight endorsement to this evil group. Are all the rest of the Yidden in Klal Yisroel victims of secularism? Isn’t that lashon horah? Is blotting out huge portions of Torah a way of protecting from secularism?

    I am among the overwhelming majority of Klal Yisroel that opposes avodah zoroh, the idol worship of human beings, and wants to bring rodfim to their knees. I pray daily that you heretics be pursued relentlessly until crushed as a cult, and the victims provided with the desperate help they need to be restored to physical and emotional health and to Torah based Yiddishkeit.

    I did not see the video you reference. I speak to victims directly. Do you watch videos? Isn’t that secular? Aren’t you involved in the secular world of the internet by trolling YWN? That’s hypocritical. Or is that part of your mesiras nefesh for your idol leader?

  13. to “The little I know”: You may profess all you want, but you have no credibility, your powers of critical thinking are not up to standard. If you search for detractors you will find your kindred spirits, but you and they are contrary to Torah. You are accusing innocent people of monstrous crime. You are not fit to be a judge in a Beis Din.
    Again, YOU have chosen not to see the video, just as you have chosen to see evil where do you “look” even without seeing!
    Investigation of a Jewish matter as important as this requires an unbiased Torah true inquiry and that was what I did in seeking that video.
    As I have already written, asking people m’hallel mitzvos is not the way to go, so whatever you say, you troll, cannot be believed. There are many places where Jews live that ARE devoid of secularism. There IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

  14. ready:

    I will not get dragged into a duel of name calling. I will, however, call rodfim who are dedicated to committing the grievous of aveiros exactly what they are.

    We live in a world where the street proclaims great things for “frumkeit”, or at least what they perceive as being that. Here, however, I have yet to see a single talmid chochom endorse your cult. You read it correctly. Show me a single one! I have heard many Roshei Yeshivos, Dayanim, and Rebbes denounce your clan, not once but many times. Is there a single recognized Gadol in Klal Yisroel who supports your religion? Just one?

  15. to “The little I know”: ‘your clan”, “your cult: . ” rodfim”. You can stand on your head, but they are real normal frum Jews.
    YOU cannot name a single gadol who is against them!
    Stop YOUR name -calling, you TROLL. So that people will know YOU speak without proof, just hatred.

  16. ready now- stop supporting lev tahor! they clearly are a cult. everthing you said is totally not true- they are not isolating themselves from securalism (cuz if so why is no other group isolating lemselves, only this small group), and neither have they been pursued unjustly by canadian authorities (the leaders have to be put in jail as they are emotionally and physically harming those that dont listen to their command). they are NOT keeping true torah and all/most gedolim condemn them.

  17. to “toby”, YOU said the leaders are abusing, BUT the authorities DID NOT say that. The Canadians could find nothing.

    Further on a separate issue, the definition of “kidnapping” is totally different in Jewish Law and in goyish law.
    It is only an avera if the person is sold into slavery.

    This is a “domestic” dispute, no more.
    They are innocent!
    To “the Little” who said “Name one Gadol that endorses Lev Tahor. Just one.“
    I will not allow any other Jew to be subjected to your venom, it is a free country and it is not illegal to give tzaddaka or support, in fact it is actually a Mitzva, for you guys that don’t follow Jewish Law, Halacha!

  18. ready:

    You would be comical if you weren’t playing with human life. “domestic dispute”?

    You are still trying to convince us that you are Torah Jews. So far you failed. Your pronouncement that kidnapping is only an aveiro if you sell into slavery is grobbe amuratzus. No such halochoh exists, and is an example of creating your own halochoh to permit the continued lifestyle that is anti-Torah. A true Yid builds his life to comply with the Torah. But you thugs modify it to suit your evil passions. Limiting what Torah can be learned – That’s Torah? Creating a new set of rules of foods – things the TOrah did not say – That’s Torah? Pledging allegiance to a leader – That’s Torah? What you resho’im have done is exactly what the reform movement did. You mold the Torah to comply with your own desires, call it Torah so it sounds Jewish, and are actually career baalei aveiro. This is more disgusting that a baal taavah falling prey to his desires. This is the avodah zarah that the Gemora tells us was done to reset the rules to permit wanton passions. That’s inexcusable.

    Repeating again, one Gadol. Just one who accepts the practices of your cult as consistent with Torah. One. I won’t attack him. I will just seek his reasoning. Meanwhile, you consider your leaders Gedolim. Yecchh!

  19. To “The little”:

    I wrote: “Further on a separate issue, the definition of “kidnapping” is totally different in Jewish Law and in goyish law.
    It is only an avera if the person is sold into slavery.”

    That is the 8th Commandment!

    Who is the am ha’aretz now!?

    Your whole argument down the drain!
    What food laws are you talking about, they eat, you know!

    “Anyone who goes against his teacher is as if he went against the Divine Presence” Sanhedrin 110a.

    You un-trustworthy person, do some learning!

  20. לא תגנב is the issur of kidnapping. What does that have to do with selling to slavery? That was your idea. I guess you now realize that you made no sense. Meanwhile, your clan committed this several times, and is still threatening to do it.

    The dietary laws described by the escapees are precisely what is described in the YWN articles. There is no halacha connection here at all. There is a set of home baked rules, and adhering to them has zewro connection with avodas Hashem.

    What’s the teacher gibberish you associate with the gemora in Sanhedrin? Who made these people into teachers? Have they gotten any form of smichas chachomim to consider them authorities in Torah Law or chinuch? Whose Shulchan Aruch?

    Lastly, you want to name call? “un-trustworthy”? Based on what? Because I disagree with you? If you wish to engage in a Torah battle, fine. I will not spend my time with name calling. I’d rather do many other things, including Pesach preparations.

    I am still waiting for a single name of a Gadol that endorses LT as a legitimate Torah based group.

  21. “kidnapping” is totally different in Jewish Law and in goyish law.
    It is only an avera if the person is sold into slavery.”

    That is the 8th Commandment!

    And yes they do NOT worship their leader, but DO give reverence to their leader.

    There is nothing wrong with peeling vegetables! It’s a good idea!

  22. ready:

    ““kidnapping” is totally different in Jewish Law and in goyish law.
    It is only an avera if the person is sold into slavery.”

    That is the 8th Commandment!”

    Your ignorance is showing. The Aseres Hadibros says absolutely NOTHING about selling into slavery. Now, we have gotten to learn that your Torah is not the same as what we were given on Har Sinai, and that yours may actually say what you want it to say. But that’s where you so proudly display your apikorsus. Your torah allows for child abuse, unbridled allegiance to a leader that must be openly recited, chilul Shabbos, etc. It also resembles Islam in that dishonesty that is used to further your sick and narcissistic goals is praiseworthy. What a disgrace you are, you and the rest of your heretical ilk. I daven for you every day. I recite שובר אויבים ומכניע זדים. It is אפיקורסים like you that keep us stuck in golus. I do not need to care for you, and would not invest a moment in trying to teach you the truth, even though it would be wasted time anyway. I do, however, feel extreme pain for the innocent victims that you and your ilk create, who will suffer needlessly and severely. I daven for their rescue every day.

  23. ““kidnapping” is totally different in Jewish Law and in goyish law.
    It is only an avera if the person is sold into slavery.” is correct

    That is the 8th Commandment!”. This is also correct.
    The Torah is composed of the written and spoken Law, you can;t have one without the other!

    PS. ty ‘IUseBrains”. Your support for LT will be rewarded.
    One who guards his/her tongue is a tzaddik/ess .

  24. ready or not:

    You repeat the same stupidity. I will not argue with you. But in case there is anyone else reading this discussion, I will present the facts that are absolute truth.

    Torah law about kidnapping is the 8th commandment in the עשרת הדברות. It states לא תגנב. and the Chazal tell us that this refers to גונב נפשות. This translates to kidnapping. Nowhere is there any reference to selling into slavery. You can fabricate that if you wish, but it was not stated in the עשרת הדברות. There is a different posuk elsewhere about גונב איש ומכרו. But this is not the 8th commandment. That’s Torah, not the LT doctrine.

    You address the subject of תורה שבכתב and תורה שבעל פה. Here is where you expose hypocrisy that reaches extremes. LT does not allow access to full תורה שבכתב, and are even more limiting about תורה שבעל פה. You were correct, that you cannot have one without the other. You אפיקורסים have trashed them both. The Torah itself will exact consequences for the disgrace you shower on it.

  25. The Sages taught in a baraita that it is written: “If a man shall be found abducting a person of his brethren from the children of Israel, and he exploited him and sold him, then that abductor shall die” (Deuteronomy 24:7)

    Devorim 24.7 (כִּי־יִמָּצֵ֣א אִ֗ישׁ גֹּנֵ֨ב נֶ֤פֶשׁ מֵאֶחָיו֙ מִבְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְהִתְעַמֶּר־בּ֖וֹ וּמְכָר֑וֹ וּמֵת֙ הַגַּנָּ֣ב הַה֔וּא וּבִֽעַרְתָּ֥ הָרָ֖ע מִקִּרְבֶּֽךָ׃

    If a man is found to have kidnapped a fellow Israelite, enslaving him or selling him, that kidnapper shall die; thus you will sweep out evil from your midst.)

    Sanhedrin 86a, Rav Sheshet said to him: I teach that Rabbi Shimon says: From the term “of his brethren” it is derived that there is no liability unless he removes the abductee from the domain of his brethren, and you say that one who sells the abductee to his father is liable? Emend the baraita and teach instead: He is exempt…..
    Abaye said: It is derived from the verse that states: “If a man shall be found abducting a person of his brethren” (Deuteronomy 24:7), to exclude one who is already found in the custody of the abductor before the abduction. Since the son is already in the custody of his father, the father is not liable for abducting him.”

    The 8th commandment specifically is related to the sale of a Jew by another Jew into slavery, as slavery is not otherwise forbidden.

  26. Not ready:

    Your ignorance is glaring. Firstly, learn the mishna there. There is zero reference to selling into slavery. Secondly, the discussion about Patur is rfeferring to the consequence of death penalty, not the issur. Rambam and Shulchan Aruch both state this. But, I forgot, you have your own halachos, and try to mold the “Torah” to fit them. Trty learning Gemora to see what it says, then fashion the halacha.

  27. The 8th commandment DOES relate to kidnapping AND selling into slavery, BOTH as a capital offence.
    That is the tradition, as it is referenced around the other capital offences, contextually.
    That is what the Talmud discusses.

    Further the owner of the people supposedly “kidnapped” cannot be committing ANY avera, even if just kidnapping without selling into slavery, as the children are his from the beginning.