Authorities Seize Two Children from Lev Tahor Sect

Two children from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish group Lev Tahor have been seized by Canadian child-protection officials.

As reported by the Toronto Star, a lawyer for Lev Tahor confirmed that officials with the Chatham-Kent Children’s Services took the two children from the same family last Thursday night.

Children who are taken from their families have to appear before a judge within five days, says lawyer Chris Knowles.

The circumstances surrounding the seizure are unknown, but it has been said that the two children are not connected to the Quebec court ruling last month. That ruling stated that 14 children be taken into foster care. Another source says the children are a brother and sister, around 3 or 4 years of age.

The original Quebec case focused on children ranging in age from two months old to 16 years old. About 40 families from the Lev Tahor group left Quebec for Ontario on Nov. 18, just a few days before the ruling was announced.

Chatham-Kent child welfare authorities then requested a warrant on Dec. 4 to seize all the children. That request was denied, and an appeal is scheduled to be heard on Dec. 23.

Quebec authorities state they have documented evidence of neglect, poor physical health, lack of dental care, psychological abuse and homeschooling run by community members that falls below regional standards.

Nachman Helbrans, son of leader Shlomo Helbrans, has no comment on the children who were removed and said his religious community is being unfairly targeted.


  • sick people

    It’s probably a wise move, before JCW gets hold of these guys. Of course, this time they may be right, I wouldn’t trust any of the freaks with children.

  • TJ

    Kidnappers! This is no different than the Czar’s soldiers seizing children from Jewish homes so that they can be made into good Russian citizens.

    Where is the outcry from the Frum community!? Now that we are no longer persecuted by the government, we turn a blind eye to our brothers and sisters who are!?

    Any parent knows that having your children taken away from you is worse than the death penalty. What did these people do to deserve this? Because their women dress differently?

    Does the religious freedom of individuals magically disappear when they are given the arbitrary label of “cult”!?

    • TO #2, please read up on this "sect"

      Perhaps you can enlighten us as to when it IS ok for government to take away children from their parents? Once you answer that question and you read up on the group, you may have your answer…

    • Huh?

      Do you have any clue what goes on in that cult? any clue how the women are treated? any clue how the children are treated?

      No connection with how they’re dressed or anything like that

  • Reb Dude

    I am sick of hearin about Lev Tahor group they r a bunch of seriously wako nut jobs. They look like Satmar (the Rabbis) but they have the ladies dress like arab muslims. I hear about them in other frum news media, however it makes me sick these ppl. They r a bunch of fanatics. Yes Satmar r seriously not Happy with the State of Isreal, the Satmar Rebbe Reb Yoel wrote a whole safer which he based on Gemara Reshonim & Achronim on y its asur 2 have a state, which the gemara says clearly, however this Lev Tahor stuff, is just seriously not normal. I wish ppl wouldnt pay attention 2 them & just move on. Plz lets focus on more important things than these Wackos. Seriously. Thank u.

  • chutzpah

    this is what happens when the frum stop being bachdus the goyim take advantage, its time for the frum to stick together and cut off anyone who is not part of us

  • haha

    This is obviously a Naturei-Karta family so I won’t be surprised if the kids were actually mistreated and neglected. These Naturei-Karta are animals not Jews.

  • Sox fan

    Just the beginning, hopefully. Solomon Helbrans deserves no support. He is a convicted felon (Kidnapping and Conspiracy) and was deported from the U.S. After his release from prison.

    • Milhouse

      All our rabbeim were convicted felons too. He was convicted of doing a mitzvah — giving a home to a Jewish teenager who wanted to come close to Hashem. If you believe that the Torah is true, then you can’t believe that his parents had the right to raise him eating treif and breaking shabbos.

  • Andrea Schonberger

    I never heard of Lev Tahor until now. The information I did get about the group is from the Toronto Star newspaper and it’s not very good from my viewpoint. What’s with the black burquas that women and girls have to wear? That’s not in Torah/Talmud–modest dress yes, but burquas? Of course the welfare of the children is of the utmost importance and if there was mistreatment then the parents need to get help to have their parental rights restored.

  • Ignorance

    Commenter 2 – you are clearly ignorant of what goes on in this sect.

    Is it not Judaism at all.

    It is warped cult-hood, rife with abuse that they sadly consider normal.

    I, for one, think this is one of the best things that could have happened to this group – for the sake of the children.

    • Milhouse

      Really? What’s going to become of the children’s neshomos, now that they’ve been contaminated with treife food?

  • to #2

    dont comment cuz you dont know whats going on The girls are forced to get married @14yrs old etc……

    • Milhouse


      bur·ka [boor-kuh, bur-]
      a loose garment covering the entire body and having a veiled opening for the eyes, worn by Muslim women.

      Also, bur·qa, bourkha, bur·kha, burga.

    • Milhouse

      Since when do they marry their daughters off under 12? That’s against halacha. You’re making it up.

    • K

      Read the news reports of “forced CHILD marriages”! We may not believe the claim, but a child (girl under 12 years old) CAN be forced to marry al pi halacha – as long as father agrees!

      In Muslim countries, the burqa is the body covering, whereas the head cover is the niqab, or face-veil.

    • Milhouse

      To the press, a child is anyone under 18, or even later. And no, halacha does not allow a father to marry off his daughter until she is old enough to decide for herself. The press can say whatever it likes, but halacha does not allow forced marriage, so without any evidence you have no right to accuse them of it.

  • Anonymouse

    Lev Tahor is really weird all they want to do is make yiddishe children into goyishe children

  • To Previous Commentors

    Do you realize this is possessively how the ‘velt’ sees you??
    Be careful of your judgment.
    Don’t be critical unless you know the facts.

    Rachmana Litzlan they can come for anyone under any pretense.

  • Sydney, Australia

    I just hope that the children were put into jewish homes. It is not Judaism to cover the hair of a little girl. I see different types of yidden all the time- peyos, white socks, embroidered coats etc… their daughters all dress like frum yiddishe girls. These girls dress like the Taliban.
    Of course I am upset that these children have been taken from their parents….. sometimes the state has to intervene when they see that the children are at risk.

    • Milhouse

      Where did you get that it’s not Judaism to cover girls’ hair? Just because it isn’t required doesn’t mean it it’s against Judaism.

  • it is a scary cult

    but it may be even scarier for the children to be taken away. one can never know which is worse!

  • TJ

    To all those mouthing on about the accusations leveled by the government against these people, namely: “neglect, poor physical health, lack of dental care, psychological abuse and homeschooling run by community members that falls below regional standards.”

    1. These are arbitrary terms that can apply to 30% of Crown Heights children. The fact that they were only able to tack on these charges to two of the 30 families is telling.

    2. The Ontario authorities asked to seize ALL the children, which proves that it has nothing to do with neglect, and everything to do with government trying to kidnap children because they don’t approve of their parents’ lifestyle.

    3. countless observers have gone to check and they have all reiterated that claims of abuse and neglect are baloney. They have a strict and religious lifestyle that may make YOU feel uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to rip children out of their mothers arms.

    4. The term “cult” is arbitrary and doesn’t magically make a group forfeit its religious freedoms. Keep in mind that every single religion or movement in the history of mankind was labeled a “cult” in its beginning and persecuted. Read some early Chabad history and you will understand.

    5. Whatever your opinion is about how these girls dress, 95% of Americans think the same thing about the way YOUR children dress and Orthodox Jews in general. What will you say when they come for your kids? Why are we so quick to forget our own history and attack our brothers and sisters – who are suffering a modern day blood libel – like a pack of rabid dogs.

    • TJ

      It says “psychological abuse.” There is zero (0) evidence of physical abuse – and trust me they were looking for it.

      The answer to your question then is – it depends how you define it, since the term is arbitrary.

      Based on the criteria the Quebec authorities used, I would say yes, possibly over 30%. And if you count our African-American neighbors, the number is probably closer to 90%. Yet, I don’t think anyone is clamoring to take their children into foster care.

      Just stop for a second and think. Imagine your outrage if CPS marched into your child’s classroom and snatched a kid away kicking and screaming and begging for his mommy and tatty – based on the unproven accusations that he is “neglected, in poor physical health, lacks of dental care, psychologically abused and educated below regional standards.”

      Can you not think of any child in your son’s class that fits that criteria?

    • Milhouse

      Much more than 30%. By the standards of these social workers, all our children are being abused, since they’re being raised without television, movies, popular music, they’re segregated by sex, they don’t go to the beach and they’re being brainwashed that there is a Creator. And those who are being educated al taharas hakodesh are even more abused! That’s how these people think.

    • Milhouse

      They used to get bothered a lot. They fought for their rights in court, and by now the local authorities know to leave them alone. Also, they are many. If a small group of Amish were to move somewhere new, they might also get harassed.

      Finally, the Amish are not Jews. That also contributes to the situation.

  • TJ

    One more important point:

    There is no easier way to ensure that a child will be neglected, abused, malnourished, unloved and uncared for than putting them into foster care.

    Nobody here cares about the welfare of these children. You are all just consumed with primitive and ignorant hatred for people who dress and act different than you – the very type of people that Jews suffered from for thousands of years.

  • Citizen Berel

    Government taking Jewish Children from Mommy and Tatty is wicked.

    The Government does not love you. The Government does not love children.


    Just for your information, There is NO group, I repeat NO GROUP of Jews, regardless of their stringent customs that says a girl before marriage should cover her hair! you seem more intent on winning the argument than the concern for what is being done to these innocent children on a phsycological level!!
    and BEREL you are right, the government does not give a darn about us but unfortunately our Jewish agencies which should step in are too involved in their own political gain to care either.

    • Milhouse

      Your claim refutes itself. This is at least one group that does say so.

      But actually this is not the only group. Look in Shulchon Oruch and you’ll be shocked at what it says. Of course there are many explanations for why we do not practice what the Shulchon Oruch seems to openly require; I am not suggesting that we should change our minhogim. The Rebbe never suggested it, so clearly it’s not necessary. But that doesn’t change the literal meaning of what the Mechaber wrote. If some group wants to be mehader like that, מהיות טוב אל תקרא רע

  • TJ, Citizen Berel, Milhouse & #16

    … are all right.
    nor in

    I don’t know anything about Lev Tahor, but less involvement with GOVT in Yiddishkeit the BETTER!

    Your concerned about these people – YOU go help them.

  • Was Helbrans right?

    Back in the early 90’s, there was a non-orthodox family entrusted Helbrans with giving Bar-Mitzvah lessons to their son,”Shai Fhima Reuven.” See:

    Anyway, not in the article, Helbrans justified his actions – after all – if you continue in the non-religious way, you suffer Gehinom (we do believe in that, don’t we). What could be more abusive than that? Some secularists said,”the road ro Hell is paved with the best intentions.”

    • Milhouse

      Exactly. He did a mitzvah. Of course it was illegal; the law doesn’t recognise the truth of the Torah. But we do.

  • STC

    look up the definition of cult. This behavior doesnt sound like genuine yiddishkeit to me. The kids will not grow up in a healthy atmosphere, and noch with attitude like Naturei Karta? Sounds scary and very concerning to me.

    • Milhouse

      STC, all yiddishkeit seems like a cult to outsiders. Who are we to judge a small group with a particular derech. Maybe they’re just chassidim, trying to live with more kedusha than the rest of us.

      And don’t forget that our own attitude to zionism isn’t much different from theirs. Lubavitch is fiercely anti-zionist. The differences between us and them are on the practical level, not so much in shitah.

  • Not Lev Tohar

    We once had a small flock of chickens. Everything went well until they isolated the smallest, most vunerable chicken. They did, then, what they commonly do: They joined together to peck it to death.


    Do you think that you’re so safe in this golus that you’ll be spared? Look what’s happening in Belgium, in Sweden, in England, in EY, with the park in Kryias Joel–in Blumberg’s NY! And you are so anxious to join the mosrim and sonai Yisroel to condem a group you’ve only read about?

    Well, guess what? Although we’re not members of Lev Tohar, we know them well. In fact, my wife is on the telephone with a member as I type this–with the news that that first of two hearings just ended and that the children are being returned to their family!

    Now let me tell me tell you what you’ve been cheering for: Because of the mesira, Children’s Protective Services found a two year old after she had decorated herself with magic marker. They pronounced it proof of child abuse, seized her and a sibling, and IMMEDIATELY PLACED THEM WITH A GOYISH FAMILY! Lev Tohar had to fight for them to get kosher food. And who really knows what took place while the goyim had them? And even after CPS admitted they knew the truth, they still refused to release the children until after the hearing.

    B”H, I wrote a letter of support that was apparently instrumental in today’s decision. And THREE dyonim representing three chassidic groups, one being Sqvar, went the hundreds of miles from Montreal just to speak with full authority in defense of Lev Tohar, noting that the trouble is being caused by loshen horah and motzi Shem rah.

    So folks, look at yourselves and speculate what the Chofetz Chaim would think. Only you know the truth, right? From the newspapers and blogs, no less!

    Right now Lev Tohar is the most vulnerable. Who do you think the sonai Yisroel and self-hating liberals will go after once Lev Tohar is obliterated, C”VS? The truth is that every frum Yid is a target. We need to ignore the loshen horah and act with achdus whenever a Yid is attacked.

  • let's be careful not harmful

    I more than agree with Citizen Berel: Government taking Jewish Children from Mommy and Tatty is wicked. The less Gov is involved in Idishkait the better.

    But look: so many Jewish organizations collect $$ from Gov. Guess what, the cheese is free only in a mousetrap. We should advocate that Gov should collect less taxes, give money to nobody except Defense Dept etc, and stay away from our lifes.

    • Milhouse

      We only need government help because it burdens us with regulations that restrict our ability to make money, and taxes what we do earn so heavily. If it didn’t do that we would have no need for its help.

      As Harry Browne said, the government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, “See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk”

    • Milhouse

      What’s that got to do with it? How dare I tell the truth about government?! How dare you defend government? All the mishneh says is to pray that the government, with all its faults not be overthrown, because at least it keeps the streets safe. Well, our government ain’t doing that great a job at that, is it? Our government does much more harm than good, and it is right and just that we recognize that fact.

    • K

      If not for the government, I couldn’t use cholov stam. They make a “mirsas” – each time I eat a Hershey chocolate I make a brocha to Hashem and also thank the government.

  • ACS and ohel

    More evil among our holy nation. Jewish kids shlepped from their parents is not torah