Rabbi of the Pure Hearts : Inside Lev Tahor – the fifth estate

( ♪♪ )>>Gillian: Their story has been the stuff of headlines.>>Members of the Lev Tahor sect fled to Ontario.>>Gillian: An endless curiosity in a modern age of people seemingly desperate to embrace the past.>>We want to go backwards, exactly like original Judaism.>>Gillian: A run from Quebec in the middle of the night kept them ahead of authorities there. Now the investigation is criminal.>>I’m a police officer.>>I am still saying shame on you for involving the children in a political –>>Mr. Goldman, take care of this person, please.>>The allegation? Child abuse.>>It’s not discipline. It’s physical abuse.>>Gillian: tonight on “The Fifth Estate,” the story of Lev Tahor, pure heart, and the rabbi who got into Canada as a refugee.>>Gillian: Did you lie to get into this country?>>I didn’t lie to refugee board,>>Look, it’s bullshit. (traffic sounds) (crows cawing)>>Gillian: It was the isolation of the place that appealed to them. (singing in Hebrew)>>Gillian: For months, the families of Lev Tahor had been under the scrutiny of Quebec’s youth protection authorities. In rural southern Ontario in the town of Chatham, they had hoped they found a more accepting place. (singing in Hebrew)>>Gillian: To practise their Judaism in their own way. To raise their families according to their interpretation of ancient laws.>>We want to go backwards, exactly like original Judaism is, we think that they was much, much more clever than us. Even the lifestyle was better. People were more happy.>>Gillian: The 35 families were still settling in. When it became clear that even having run all this way, they hadn’t escaped the authorities after all. (speaking in Hebrew)>>Gillian: With our cameras rolling, Lev Tahor spokesman Uriel Goldman discovers the police are back in his community, This time with a search warrant.>>Gillian: Goldman is rattled and for a moment forgets the cameras as he whispers urgent orders.>>Gillian: The late January day is bitterly cold. For the community, it’s just further evidence the authorities are out to get them.>>Sweet revenge from Quebec. The punishment. We left Quebec, we not received the punishment. So this is the punishment.>>Shame on you. Shame on you.>>Sir, I’m doing my job now. I’m a police officer.>>I’m still saying shame on you for involving children.>>Mr. Goldman, take your men please.>>Gillian: It will later be revealed the police are investigating allegations of abuse. Beatings, confinements, marriages between underage girls and older men. But on this afternoon, no one’s telling the community or their lawyer that.>>What specifically are you looking for?>>Computers and hardware.>>Okay. And why?>>We’re doing an investigation.>>Gillian: A Quebec court has already ruled 14 of the children should be removed from the families. Lev Tahor is fighting it.>>I don’t know what’s going on. I know something very abnormal happening. It’s terrorizing our community. (♪♪)>>Gillian: It was just the day before the police search that the community was putting its best face forward.>>They start with a prayer every day.>>Gillian: With “The Fifth Estate” in town, they were anxious to counter the allegations coming out of Quebec.>>Who can tell me how many provinces are there in Canada?>>Ten.>>Ten, good. What is the name of the first province here where we just lived? Quebec.>>Gillian: So we were invited to a geography lesson, proof their children did learn about the secular world, they said.>>Who remembers what is the capital city of Ontario.>>Ottawa.>>Ottawa, good.>>Gillian: Even if some of the details were a little off.>>There have to be two things that make the fish kosher.>>Gillian: As for concerns their children are neglected and malnourished, we were treated to a lavish lunch while everyone got to play with what looked to be very new toys. In fairness, the community has never denied its educational priorities are different. Boys are raised to be scholars, long days of prayer and Bible study. Girls are allowed only one ambition: To become wives and mothers.>>We also have a sewing class. All the girls be with it twice a week. We have a cooking class. We use practical things so when the girls reach the age of 15, 16, they feel confident.>>Gillian: Confident to be married, says Malka Rosner, teacher and mother of nine, in weddings arranged by Lev Tahor’s leader himself.>>We have a commandment in the Torah that you marry the earliest you can but at the same time, we also have a commandment to respect the laws and regulations of the nation where you live.>>Gillian: And when those two are in conflict which one –>>They’re actually, yes, we first must respect the laws. My eldest daughter turned 16 last year and she married two months later after she turned 16, she got engaged at 15. Okay, this we do.>>Gillian: More than anything, it’s the issue of marriages that has made the community a target. And again raised the thorny question: When does their right to practise their religion freely get trumped by society’s obligation to protect children?>>If we do believe that the Torah is the truth for us and it’s the God’s words, why should we compromise about that? It doesn’t make any sense.>>Gillian: Seven time zones away, just outside Tel Aviv, Oded Twik is the other side of the debate. Eight of his nieces and nephews are in Lev Tahor, some in their teens, and he’s desperate to get them out before they, too, are married off. Oded’s sister Sima has been with Lev Tahor 18 years, joined in New York when she was little more than a teenager herself.>>Voice of Translator: This is the first day in the army, this is the day that she signed up to the army. And here you can see her in a family celebration, you can see that she was completely secular. I used to go out dancing with her. She was a young, beautiful and charming young woman. She had nice life here. Two years after she had gone to New York, she sent a photo of a long bearded person and told us this is her future husband. We were quite surprised.>>Gillian: Her husband was nearly ten years her senior. The children followed in rapid succession. It wasn’t the lifestyle Oded had hoped for his sister, but for years, he believed Sima was happy. Until 2011 when he travelled to Quebec for a visit.>>Voice of Translator: I kind of felt that something is not right about her situation. We had some arguments. One of her sons died in 2009, and she never visited the grave. She insisted that it is against the rabbi’s orders.>>Gillian: Back in Israel, his suspicions turned to worry. Oded started researching, reading everything he could about Lev Tahor, comparing notes with other members’ families. Tracking down members who had left. What he came to understand is that the family he’d photographed in Quebec wasn’t so happy after all. He says he was told that for three years, his sister lost her children, they were placed with other Lev Tahor families who were ordered not to let her near. Internal banishment, he was told, is common punishment in the community but not the only one.>>Voice of Translator: Former members told me that people are being punished, they were fasting, not eating three days a week. All these punishments like not allowing people to sleep at night. They’re like zombies.>>Gillian: People use the word cult. Do you think this is a cult?>>Voice of Translator: It is a cult, hundred per cent a cult. Very cruel and most destructive cult.>>Gillian: When we visited Chatham, we asked to meet with Oded’s sister repeatedly. They told us she didn’t want to meet with us. Years before Oded started compiling his information in Israel, Canadian authorities were getting hints of problems at Lev Tahor. In 2007, Quebec social workers flagged a young mother who was discovered to be on anti-psychotic drugs. The same year, they seized five children, although all were later returned. By 2011, there were allegations children weren’t attending school, but it wasn’t until the following year that authorities were approached by an insider who wanted to show them the big picture.>>My name is Adam Brudzevski. I’m 28. Adam Brudzevski spent two years in Lev Tahor married the daughter of one of the community’s founding members. His testimony in a Quebec youth protection hearing would help trigger the police investigation. We’re broadcasting it here for the first time.>>As I stayed in the community, I started having more and more questions about the righteousness of what was going on. The Rabbi encouraged everybody to spy on each other, both children and the parents and friends.>>Gillian: There was spying and there was physical abuse, he said. One of Adam’s jobs was to help out in the school.>>One advice that I got was whenever a boy would not do as he’s supposed to, I should hit him with a wire hanger. I later discovered that this was a regular punishment in the community.>>Gillian: But his biggest revelation was about marriages. He confirmed they were arranged and sometimes involved teenagers under the legal age of 16. How old was your wife when you got married?>>She was 15, almost 16.>>Gillian: What cemented his testimony were the documents he brought. A computer hard drive that included marriage certificates, and a list he made of marriages, including his own, in which one of the partners was underage. Some girls had been married to much older men. What the documents also reveal is what happens to those who step out of line. In 2011, Adam and his wife were thinking of leaving Lev Tahor. Immediately, he was told to divorce her and to sign an oath accepting he had a serious mental illness.>>I had to subject myself to treatment for what they called borderline personality Disorder.>>Gillian: BPD as it’s called was not uncommon in Lev Tahor, he said. Declared by the rabbi himself and subject to his own cures. Multivitamins, the Atkins diet. In some cases directions to take anti-psychotic drugs. When Adam and his wife did flee, they went to the police.>>I have a belief that I’m obligated to help these children that are in trouble, seriously in trouble, and I believe that the conditions that the people are living under in the community are damaging to them.>>He is mentally ill, absolutely.>>Gillian: Back in Chatham, it’s all very personal for community spokesperson Uriel Goldman. Adam Brudzevski is married to his daughter.>>He is a person have no feelings at all.>>Gillian: Does it hurt you, though, that these allegations are coming from within your family?>>Yes, but if someone know the person, he doesn’t take it so serious because this is the kind of person. All his life was just fighting with others.>>Gillian: Whatever the community’s view, Quebec’s youth protection authorities took the allegations seriously. Last August, sweeping in to Lev Tahor, looking for evidence of abuse. But how did such a tiny group become such a big target? And where was the man who leads them? When we come back, the man they call their rabbi, Shlomo Helbrans.>>The basis of community is very wonderful people, peaceful people, people that respect society and the human material and the law. ( ♪♪ ) ( ♪♪ )>>Gillian: The man who would court such controversy in Canada grew up in Jerusalem. Shlomo Helbrans was a secular boy who discovered religion as a teenager. Became obsessed with the teachings of the Jewish mystics and at the tender age of 22, declared himself a rabbi. But a rabbi who claimed to have unique insights and who, in the late ’80s, started recruiting in ultraorthodox neighbourhoods for a new religious community, Lev Tahor. Pure heart. What Helbrans preached in the early days was not so different than other ultraorthodox rabbis here, piety, modesty, especially for women, and even though they lived in Israel, strong opposition to the Israeli state. That’s because they believe a state for the Jews can only legitimately be proclaimed by God and can’t happen until the day their messiah arrives. Helbrans never claimed to be the messiah but there was something about his personality. To his followers, he was electric.>>Voice of Translator: He starts talking to you and you’re attracted to like a magnet. I forgot where I was.>>Gillian: Israel Alter was one of Lev Tahor’s first members and Shlomo Helbrans’ first assistant.>>Voice of Translator: He’s very persuasive. He manages to present himself as a great man, a man who can read through other people, read their thoughts. He acts as if he’s a very pious man, above the rest of humanity. In reality, as I later realized, he is a complete opposite.>>Gillian: Alter was different than many of Lev Tahor’s followers. He grew up religious. Others who were drawn to the rabbi’s tiny Jerusalem apartment tended to be from the margins. Those who were experimenting with religion, those who were born again, and those who simply wanted someone to make the world make sense. Professor Menachem Friedman is Israel’s foremost scholar on extreme Jewish groups. As a charismatic preacher Helbrans did have an appeal, he says, but nowhere near what he would later boast. He claims to have tens of thousands of followers around the world.>>That is pure bullshit. He have very, very few followers. He’s not even a spiritual leader. He’s not a great scholar. He attract people in the margin because of his extreme ideas.>>Gillian: Helbrans would later claim it was those extreme ideas about Israel that led him to be persecuted but no one here remembers it that way. One morning in 1990, people just woke up to discover the rabbi and his little band of followers gone. (♪♪)>>Gillian: Whatever his reasons for leaving Israel, this is where Shlomo Helbrans ended up. Borough Park, Brooklyn. Home to some of the most influential ultraorthodox communities in the world. It’s the kind of place that would shelter an upstart rabbi from Israel, and it did. Helbrans found financial support and opened his own yeshiva, or religious school. But this is also a place that can turn against someone who brings trouble to the community. And that would happen, too. It all started with a young boy named Shai Fhima, born in Israel, he immigrated to New York with his mother after his parents’ divorce. At 13, Shai was fond of baseball and baking, about as secular as they come. But as his bar mitzvah approached, his mother started looking for a rabbi to prepare him. The rabbi she found was Shlomo Helbrans.>>The Rabbi liked him very much. I told you he was a very smart boy.>>Gillian: Back in Israel, Shai’s father, Michael Reuven, was a bit surprised but pleased.>>What the rabbi told me that he see a big light around him, and he’s going to be one of the biggest rabbis.>>Gillian: Do you think that would have had an impact on a 13-year-old boy?>>Sure.>>Gillian: It did. Shai was soon spending more and more time at the yeshiva until one day he didn’t come home. When police were called, Helbrans insisted Shai was a run-away from a broken home.>>You’re dealing with a kidnapping.>>Gillian: New York cop Bill Plackenmeyer would spend the next two years trying to find Shai Fhima. To him, Helbrans’ role in the boy’s disappearance was clear from the beginning.>>I was commander of detectives, a little deductive reasoning goes a long way, and, I mean, it was so obvious. They’re exhorting him run, run, run.>>Gillian: But his deductive reasoning didn’t prepare him for what happened next. Hours and his men arrested Shlomo Helbrans, Plackenmeyer got a visit from the district attorney’s office. The D.A. wanted the rabbi released.>>I asked them, are you saying I don’t have probable cause for an arrest? And they assured me no, no, that’s not what we’re saying at all, you have probable cause for an arrest, it’s just that the district attorney would prefer that you void the arrest and let him go.>>Gillian: The politics were simple. The D.A. was up for re-election, and Brooklyn’s ultraorthodox community represented a lot of votes.>>Did you kidnap that boy like his mother says?>>Of course not.>>Gillian: The rabbi was released. The rabbi was free but a 13-year-old boy was still missing. Shai’s family, both in New York and Israel, were frantic. The New York cops were angry. And so they turned to the F.B.I. who came up with a plan.>>This is the poster of Shai they made on the police department in New York. I made 10,000 copies of this.>>Gillian: When all the usual efforts to find his son failed, Michael Reuven was ready for anything. In a telephone call, Hellmann’s had promised he’d let Reuven see Shai if he could convince the boys mother, to send a letter agreeing to share custody with the rabbi. With the police’s help, Reuven went undercover.>>I was wired at this time so everything you spoke was on the tape. He start negotiate with me. He said why don’t you offer him money, I said I don’t have money to offer her. He say I give you this money. You can offer her $50,000, can go up to 100,000.>>Gillian: Where was he going to get the money from?>>He had the money.>>Gillian: He had the money?>>He had the money. He had the money.>>Gillian: And why was your son so important to him that he would pay that kind of money?>>I wonder about it. Until today.>>Step aside, please.>>Gillian: The offer of cash for custody helped get Helbrans rearrested. And once again, the orthodox community came to his defence.>>So many supporters of rabbi Shlomo Helbrans and his wife showed up at a Brooklyn courthouse this afternoon. Their officers fearing a security risk, limited public access to the emotional bail hearing.>>Gillian: He’d been gone for two years but just days before the trial, Shai Fhima re-appeared. The teenager was till loyal to the rabbi. He testified on his behalf. But phone intercepts showed the lengths Helbrans and his supporters have gone in hiding him. Transferring him between communities. At one point across the border into Canada. And then to France where he was stopped by French customs.>>And he had a phony passport so how does a 13-year-old, unless he’s not receiving help, get a phony passport?>>Gillian: In 1994, Helbrans was convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to a minimum four years in prison. He would serve two. The United States deported him back to Israel, but he wouldn’t stay long. Within weeks, the rabbi was on the road again. Looking for a new home for Lev Tahor. He’d find it in Canada. When we return.>>He told me a lot. I’m special, I’m holy, I’m smart and all that, but he used those lines for everyone. ( ♪♪ ) (♪♪)>>Gillian: If you’re looking for privacy, the Laurentian mountains north of Montreal aren’t a bad place to find it. Six weeks after he was deported to Israel, Shlomo Helbrans arrived in Canada. And was soon rebuilding his Lev Tahor community in the town of Ste. Agathe. But as he set about regaining his flock Helbrans had a problem. He’d been admitted to Canada on a visitor’s Visa. If he wanted to stay and be legal, he’d have to change that. He first applied to become a Canadian resident but that was stopped when authorities discovered he’d been jailed for that kidnapping in New York. And so in 2003, he tried the next best thing. Shlomo Helbrans asked Canada to accept him as a refugee. The key to becoming a refugee is to convince a refugee board you’ll be persecuted if sent home. Helbrans argued that as an anti-zionist rabbi, he was a threat to Israel. That argument had never been tested in Canada before and a man who would preside over Helbrans’ hearing admits the issues were new to him. Former refugee board commissioner Gilles Ethier.>>It’s not important what I knew and what I didn’t know. The thing is that I had a proof and evidence that was put in front of me, and I had to decide with that.>>Gillian: He had to decide, but he wouldn’t get a lot of help. Ottawa was so convinced the case would be thrown out, it didn’t send a lawyer to question the evidence. Eight witnesses and documents, all claiming Helbrans would be at risk.>>I think that they did not check.>>Gillian: We asked professor Menachem Friedman, Israel’s leading scholar on orthodox groups, to read Helbrans refugee file.>>When I read it, I laugh. If it was not so tragic, it is a comedy.>>Gillian: You don’t believe it.>>I don’t believe it at all.>>Gillian: That’s because there are ultraorthodox rabbis in Israel who take their opposition to the state much further. Openly aligning themselves with Iran’s rabid anti-Israel leaders, for instance, and no one bothers them, says Friedman.>>Others are very well-known, and they preach their philosophy.>>Gillian: The state of Israel does not stop them.>>Has no interest in them.>>Gillian: But if Israel had no interest, the Canadian refugee board did. One witness in particular would impress commissioner Ethier, a man who claimed Israel’s military ordered him to infiltrate Lev Tahor.>>That was an important element, as I recall, because it illustrates the fact that the state or the government was giving some importance to this gentleman.>>Gillian: The witness he’s referring to is none other than Uriel Goldman. Today Lev Tahor’s spokesman in Chatham. He testified that as a young intelligence soldier in Israel’s defence force, the IDF he was ordered to secretly spy on Shlomo Helbrans to help make a case for his arrest. Instead, Goldman says he was so taken by the rabbi, he decided to join. And yet when we asked him about the story, Goldman became distinctly uneasy.>>I really don’t want to talk about that because it’s a very — I know that Israel is watching very carefully. I think you can understand I don’t want to receive one day a bullet from a Mossad agent or something like that.>>Gillian: What I’m trying to get at is whether it’s true or not so we went to the IDF and we asked them about Mr. Goldman and the story that he tells, and they say we have no record of Mr. Goldman in the military intelligence.>>I understand there’s no record. I don’t want, whatever, but say no record, it’s the most — for you as a journalist, it’s like someone say no comment.>>Gillian: It does raise the question of whether or not, when you were testifying at the refugee board hearing, you were telling the truth or not.>>Absolutely.>>Gillian: Even though the IDF today says they have no record of you?>>I understand why they say that. And this was not like not a normal operation.>>Gillian: What was remarkable about the Helbrans hearing is how few questions were asked, evidence was accepted without corroboration.>>Everybody was pertinent, no contradiction, they were good witnesses, and I was struck by that.>>Gillian: One thing that didn’t need corroborating was Helbrans’ criminal record. He was a convicted kidnapper, a big obstacle for any would-be refugee. So what better strategy than to have the kidnapping victim make an appearance?>>I feel really bad for what happened to the rabbi.>>Gillian: Shai Fhima was 24 years old at the hearing. This videotape of him next to a smiling Shlomo Helbrans was submitted as part of the rabbi’s claim.>>He was prosecuted just because he introduced me to the religion, nothing else, not because he kidnapped me, this is why I’m here today, because I want to clear up his name.>>Gillian: But in researching the story, we’ve discovered something disturbing. Shai Fhima now tells us that what he said on that videotape was a lie. Lev Tahor paid him, he says, $5,000, to make the recording, a deal he claims was arranged by the community spokesman Uriel Goldman. Fhima wouldn’t talk to us on camera, he’s not proud he accepted the deal. But all these years later, he feels it’s important to set the record straight. Shlomo Helbrans did kidnap him, he says, no one should be in any doubt. Commissioner Ethier says that if he’d known all of that in 2003, it might have led him to assess the evidence differently. As it was, he accepted Shlomo Helbrans as a refugee, a decision that was upheld on appeal. Now the rabbi was safe to stay and to grow his Ste. Agathe community. (speaking in French)>>Gillian: In fact, it was just a year later this documentary again captured the image Lev Tahor wanted to project. Devoted families who simply wanted the freedom to live apart. But the happy children did not include Mendhi Markus. He was tent to Lev Tahor to attend school at age 11.>>The way they make you listen is by slapping you or pinching you and some, you know, extreme religious people would call that discipline. But it’s not discipline. It’s physical abuse.>>Gillian: Markus’ family was extremely religious but Lev Tahor, he says, was even more so. Prayers were noisy and lasted for hours. The competition to impress the rabbi was intense.>>These people there will do anything and everything for him. He lives a beautiful life. He has beautiful chairs, beautiful silverware, all kinds of very fancy rabbi stuff, and the people in his community have nothing.>>Gillian: The boy and the rabbi spent a lot of time together.>>He told me a lot I’m special, I’m holy, I’m smart and all that. But he used those lines for everyone to get them to listen.>>Gillian: Today, Markus has no trouble using the word, brainwashing.>>He couldn’t care less about any of the God stuff. It’s a tool for him to get people to follow him. And once they follow him, the God part falls away, and he has pure mind control over the people.>>Gillian: Markus wasn’t the only visitor. Shulamit Kaminsky spent a few months in Lev Tahor. What shocked her was how unhappy they all seemed.>>Voice of Translator: They all pop pills, all kind of pills, I don’t know what kind of pills. They were on the shelves for people to take freely. The rabbi orders them to take those pills, and you take it.>>You saw it with your own eyes?>>Voice of Translator: Yes, I did.>>Gillian: Almost a decade later, it’s the same concerns that are now part of a criminal investigation. Among the allegations in those police search warrants, psychological control by medication, beatings, confinement, marriages of underage girls to older men. In a community where only one man has the power, only one man can provide the answers. When we come back, the rabbi speaks.>>I never married children against the law. Point. ( ♪♪ ) (♪♪)>>Gillian: If there is any doubt as to who is the beating heart of Lev Tahor, it only takes minutes in this community to understand. In Chatham, Shlomo Helbrans is revered. Perhaps, more importantly, he’s obeyed.>>Thank you very much for coming.>>Gillian: We asked for a private conversation with the rabbi, but he insisted on being surrounded by at least half a dozen helpers. For a conversation that would go on for more than three hours. Rabbi Helbrans. It is important that the Canadian people hear you talk about the allegations.>>Okay.>>You say it’s persecution. We have been told that it is common in Lev Tahor that children who misbehave will be hit with wire coat hangers, will be hit with wooden batons, will be hit with belts, with fists, with hands. Is this how discipline happens in Lev Tahor?>>Okay. I don’t want to say for this my policy. Just the truth, yes. To say no child never receives a slap of a hand never, ever is false, is false, but what I can to declare very strongly that physical punishment of children we can use in our community a lot less than the western society.>>So people who claim that they were beaten or they saw people beaten are wrong?>>People say a lie, absolutely lie.>>Gillian: Many things were lies, he said. The allegations he declared people mentally ill, instructed them to take medication.>>Of course I never, ever, never, never, never offer to nobody any kind of any pills.>>Gillian: How many people have you diagnosed with border line personality disorder?>>It was two peoples.>>Gillian: Only two?>>Two people. One moment. Two peoples. I didn’t — you see where you take me? I just try to explain to these people that they have to see a doctor, yes.>>Gillian: But other people have told us that they have seen many medications in this community, have seen people taking pills all the time, and that it is about controlling the people who live here.>>Okay. Go to a sleep room and bring what you find of my own tables there, okay?>>Gillian: This was the explanation. Vitamins, he said. Lots of vitamins. Everybody taking pills, they were taking vitamins?>>No, no, it’s not — not everybody take all the vitamins. Somebody suffering from nerves problem, yes, to put to sleep, or sometimes worse, so they are especially class vitamins I would support this person to take, B complex, magnesium, and then if somebody have to take medical treatment, I’m very extreme about it, they have to take it.>>Gillian: We then asked him about marriages. Do you marry children under the age of 16?>>Now, first of all, you cannot to judge community just with — (making sound). Yes or not. You must understand story.>>Gillian: It’s a simple question.>>No, no, no –>>Gillian: Do you marry children under the age of 16?>>First of all, we don’t — we never — we never.>>Gillian: It’s never happened?>>It’s happened. I never marry children against the law. What is happening like this. I marriage, it was maybe, maybe, maybe three stories, three stories that families was marriage in America by judge, yes, and after that they’re asking me to do the ceremony, also, yes.>>Gillian: So three times it did happen, he said, 15-year-olds travelled to Missouri where the marriage laws are different. When we suggested he’d sent them to avoid Canadian law, he bristled.>>People in my community are not puppet. Mr. Goldman is not a puppet, and his daughter is not a puppet and his children are not a puppet.>>Gillian: You understand in this country it’s considered child abuse, you understand that?>>No, no, I didn’t understand it, I don’t understand it right now because you are wrong.>>Gillian: Whatever the moral implications, it is a crime in Canada if a much older man has marital relations with an underage girl. We asked if it had ever happened at Lev Tahor and he denied it. One of the questions people — Then we asked about that refugee board hearing, how he came to be in Canada. There has been questions raised about whether the information that was given at the refugee hearing was true.>>I didn’t lie to refugee board. I was not able to provide the real story — I was prosecuted– I am not able to bring you today, Mrs. Findlay, how I’m prosecuted here in Canada.>>Part of your application to become a refugee in Canada –>>– the blessing of the coffee, one moment.>>Gillian: As the rabbi blessed his coffee, we told him what we learned about that videotape with Shai Fhima, the kidnap victim.>>Gillian: We’ve talked to Shai.>>Yes.>>Gillian: He tells us that he was paid to make that video.>>Okay.>>$5,000.>>Okay. So is absolutely false and a lie. First of all, he was not paid even one penny once.>>He says Mr. Goldman actually made the arrangement. Mr. Goldman, did you arrange that?>>His ticket.>>Did you pay for his ticket?>>Let me tell you all the story as I remember right now. You will pay his ticket, yes. This I remember absolutely.>>Gillian: You did pay his ticket.>>Yes.>>Gillian: Did you in addition to paying his tickets pay him $5,000?>>No, absolutely no.>>Gillian: Why would he say that now?>>Now, you ask me –>>Gillian: Excuse me, excuse me.>>What’s the connection we are over right now?>>Gillian: No, the connection is did you lie to get into this country?>>I didn’t lie to get in the country.>>Gillian: Did you pay Shai Fhima to help you get into this country?>>Okay, so truth him to believe what am I to say.>>Gillian: The allegations have shaken this community and left them groping for an explanation as to why the authorities would target them. Their answer is as old as history. Anti-Semitism.>>The Jewish nation is a target from allegation already more than 3,000 years. We persecuted because our spiritual background, because we are Jews, because we are anti-zionist, because we are extreme.>>Gillian: But his claim they are hated because they are Jews gets no sympathy in the Jewish state.>>I think all of the ways that this sect operates is something that is contradictory to Judaism in every aspect of it.>>Gillian: In Israel, a parliamentary committee on the rights of the child has been gathering evidence on Lev Tahor. Even among the very ultraorthodox here, the Canadian community is viewed as bizarre. Israeli families who have children in Lev Tahor are pressuring their government to do something. And in turn, government representative Yariv Levine is calling on Canada to shut Shlomo Helbrans down.>>He doesn’t have any excuse and any reason to be recognized as a refugee but all of that we can deal later on. Now we have to deal with the children.>>Gillian: Which is what Oded Twik from his tiny electronics shop outside Tel Aviv has been trying to do for two-and-a-half years.>>Voice of Translator: She gets married in 2000, when she was 14.>>Voice of Translator: Yes, we do understand she was more or less 14.>>Gillian: He used to worry about his sister and her eight children. Now he wants everyone out.>>Voice of Translator: After talking to other parents, listening to their stories, I want to fight against the whole thing. So I want to put an end to this place.>>Gillian: It is the children, girls in particular, who are at the centre of the concerns about Lev Tahor. Each time we visited Chatham we made a point of asking to speak with Oded’s sister. It was only as we prepared to leave the last time that we were able to meet Sima although she didn’t want to show her face. With her husband next to her, she denied her brother’s story that her children had ever been taken from her as a punishment.>>Gillian: He thinks that you are not happy here and that your children are not happy here.>>I told my brother everything it’s okay. And I’m good place.>>Gillian: Whether she is in a good place, whether any of them are is something Canada’s courts will have to decide. (♪♪)


  1. I wonder why every …. EVERY religous sect, cult or movement has to have a god like leader, a person who seeks to be adored, respected, 'loved' and feted as a god. Makes you wonder about the merits of any and every organised religion.

  2. Do not give power to any Rabbi, Priest, or Mollas ( emams). They misuse their power like no other politician in the history. Not so many religious figures have been killed by scientists and politicians, but throughout different eras, numerous scientists and politicians have been killed by men of God.

  3. Same thing our government is doing all the people want to rule it's always one person wants to run everything while the rest of the masses of people suffer it's amazing it really is they eat sleep and s*** as well as anybody else why would you think your better than somebody else it's really amazing I'm never ever going to be able to wrap that around my head ever!!!!

  4. Canada is very liberal and progressive. They don't like strict religious groups, except for Islam. They look the other way when Islam does the same stuff. Canadian media, like the USA media, is progressive liberal and hates conservative Christian and Jewish groups.

  5. I don't know what to call that religion there is some sickness in that religion Kabbalah I don't know Zionist I don't know what but the point is they are not worshiping the true god our lord and saviour Jesus Christ the Messiah is the one and only one who came To Give his life for our sins arise again after 3 days if you want to be saved you have to believe in yeshua of Nazareth lord of lords King of Kings is the one and only one living Lord it's up to you whatever you want to do but there is not another no one comes before him very soon as we're going to be disappointed when our lord and savior it's going to come back not to play game but to bring his Kingdom and throw this evlnes is going around the in hell we're they belong . To be tormented with them father.of all the liars devil himself . God bless Jesus is our king who's coming soon

  6. I lived there for almost 15 years
    There is no way to describe this craziness. manipulation. lies. And abuse. Going on there on daily basis

  7. modern thinking really is in conflict with the bible times….. what was legal and ethical before is illegal and unethical now….. but which one is right? the bible times or the modern times?

  8. so it is okay to marry under the age of 16 in missouri? if this is true….then if it is legal and ethical to marry under the age of 16 in missouri….why question these people just because they are in canada? so it is the country that is wrong… not the people…. coz in missouri is it okay…..

  9. Now you know why Jesus was killed and still this faction of a Religion is twisted by humans.
    It is in all societies be them religious or not. They hide behind what Jesus told the disciples and not what these clowns THINK. What these people do is perverse, and Jesus Prayed, "Forgive them father, for they know not what they do!" and that is why the Jew's have been persecuted throughout History, because that is what they do unto themselves.

  10. The sister was interviewed with husband present…. nice. Of course we believe all she says 🦄Dude is dead. Died in a river in Mexico… divine intervention?!?

  11. WTF Canada let a CONVICTED FELON immigrate in 1984? in 1982 Canada told me i could not even enter their country. then again in 1987 i admitted to a juvenile conviction at the check point in northern minnesota and they made me turn the F### around right there! i smell some coruption in canada!!!!!

  12. This documentary shows those people as weird creatures which is not so objective, this is not how you make a documentary. Dislike!

  13. Couldn’t listen to another word of this controlled religious torture! Why are ppl joining this group or any, for that matter? Bored lost broke, psyche problems? Usually issue and that’s how they infiltrate n draw you in! From Jim Jones to Hindu compounds Yahweh Ben Yahweh …Amish Mormons LDS…to this! All religious cultural extremism and perverted abusive cults.

  14. A convicted kidnapper from a country with no record of persecuting people with his views… and he gets in as a refugee?

  15. Listen, I personally do not agree with Lev Tahor, btw I am Jewish, but this is what they want. If it is wrong then the government should intervene.

  16. Acts 13:1-4 King James Version (KJV)

    13 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called niger

    Greek/Hebrew Definitions. Strong's #3526: Niger (pronounced neeg'-er). of Latin origin; black; Niger

  17. I didn't even finish watching the interview with the Rabbi himself. Besides all the lies, his stutter because of that, lisp and sudden 'lack' of the English language, irritated me so much that i stopped listening to him. I've heard enough crap from fools like him. No need to let him destroy my peaceful evening…👋👋👋

  18. "Rabbi" and "pure" in the same sentence? I don't THINK so! What a SICKENING spectacle of corruption and perversion. Israel's loss is North America's loss, too — big time.

  19. PS, CBC…. This was an outstanding, absorbing, AMPLE report on a serious plague on youth, women and North Americans. I commend and thank you for some serious coverage which would NEVER occur here in the Untied (sic) States.

  20. Always same scenario when serving to almighty GOD, child abuse, no freedom, no speech freedom, etc. BUT GETTING CHILDREN TO LISTEN TO BEBE REXHA, TO EMINEM, TO TOHER CELEBRITIES WITH SATANIC BACKGROUND THERSE NO PROBLEM AT ALL.

  21. I’m very angry with this kind of cult or what they believe this kind of leader they should hang them all 😡😡😡they should sent them back where they belong

  22. And this is why religion must be eventually made redundant. These antiquated 2000 year old belief structures as so out of date in the modern era we live in today that they are holding humanity back. Before you judge them think about it. The Torah predates the bible. Back in those days you were lucky to live to be 35 years old. Marrying young was normal in all cultures really up until the 1900's

  23. And yet another bunch of religion driven nutters. Raising child abuse, denying women their rights and breaking the laws of the land to a new level.

  24. Just another insane evil cult with pedophilia involved and the evil one is there in the middle of it. The truth will be revealed when our Lord returns.

  25. Childhood indoctrination equals abuse, not to mention the extreme high control indoctrination these wackos push on their kids.

  26. Those Witches and Warlocks are Not Israelites, They are Ameleckites From Esau.
    This is but a few reasons why God Hates Esau and His OffSpring.
    In town (Near) me, they look at Me as if I’m the alien 👽.
    Looking all Mad 😡 because I say “where is Burger 🍔 King” 👨🏾‍🦱👀👅
    That goes to Show, they are NOT very very nice to thy neighbors 👩🏾‍🦲👧🏽

  27. Is Canadian courts to fall for the same old tricks you are a gainst jewes people l am african it is victim mentality to manipulate

  28. They need to take the ultraorthodox morons down!
    They are terrible!
    The good old Rabbi turned "tomato-red" when he was lying through his "holy" teeth!

  29. Too many children. Too much Thora .or Tora. An indoctrinated overview on life today .We can't stick to the 4000 old RELIGAI life atyles . Better to live a honest natural life of the Creator. Wat a mess.

  30. This journalist is amazing… she really puts it to them and rightly so! Watched her on other episodes and she doesn’t miss a beat! Great work 👍🏼

  31. This whole fiasco, as far as Canada is concerned, could have been derailed from the start. There could have been a comprehensive background check on the professions of refugee status. If, the investigations official had not been so quick to believe that Israel was guilty of political anti-Semitism, itself.

  32. When the Rabbi lies he stutters. What a disgusting excuse for a “Holy Man”: vitamins only cure vitamin deficiency, they don’t cure mental issues.

  33. Not Judaism for God's sake females dressed as muslims. No Jewish female would dress like that very weird. Mish mosh of religion bastardized by nut jobs. Self proclaimed prophets against God and Torah. Judaism does not teach hurting others or to live in fear; Teaches kindness, generosity. Cult ala some Amish, Catholics, Evangelicals, Islamists. Lunatic declares himself a prophet then brainwashs others. Many Hasidic groups most very good people a few looney toons.

  34. Es un jentil difrasado de rabbi, ,wow ni yo que soy el fariseo del lodo or Ganster, ,eso es un enfermito. ..sexual. ..

  35. Many want to "go back" to their "Glorious Golden age" when laws were mostly put in place and upheld by the community, and easier to sweep allegations of abuse 'under the rug'.

  36. These are not Jews. They're Gentile heathens.

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