A Superior Court judge had harsh words for Lev Tahor parents at their appeal hearing Thursday.Someone might want to suggest the parents distance themselves from Shlomo Helbrans and his ilk if they even want to be in charge of their children again. If they act upon his ideas and his alone, without a trace of free will or thinking for themselves, then they're obviously not acting in the better interest of their children.
“As soon as you step into the borders of this country, the parent child relationship engages not only moral obligations but legal ones as well. The legal obligation you have right now is to your children to make sure that they remain within the jurisdiction of the court as the court orders. The conduct of the community has not raised any trust that you will remain within the jurisdiction of this court,” said Superior Court of Justice Judge Lynda Templeton.
“I can guarantee you will receive fair hearings, but you must allow the court to do its work,” she said.
The hearing was the second attempt to hear an appeal over Ontario Court of Justice Judge Stephen Fuerth’s February decision to send some Lev Tahor children back to Quebec so that a child protection order could be executed in that province. The group first fled Quebec in November, then 14 children and their parents fled Chatham ahead of the appeal.
Templeton adjourned Friday’s appeal arguments until April 9, but ordered Chatham-Kent Children’s Services to arrange supervised visits with the seven children who remain in foster care.
Eight of the children who fled the region have since been apprehended and placed in foster care. One of the original eight children, who is 17 and also a parent, was released from care Friday because of her age. The identities of the children who are part of the action are protected by a publication ban.If that young mother is under the influence of the cult, then she's not qualified to look after the child and its well-being.
“I am also going to say to (the 17-year-old), go with your parents, stay with your parents. You’re old enough now to make your own decisions, but I am not going to suggest the release of your baby to you until I am absolutely satisfied that the baby is … healthy and … ready to be looked after by you and that you have the skills to look after that child,” said Templeton to the girl, who was in the court room.
Templeton issued a complete transcript Friday. It paints a picture of a sudden flight from the country and a leadership that tightly controls the sect. One leader, Nachman Helbrans, told a children’s aid worker that his sister was indeed married at 15 despite the community denying such practices.That only confirms he didn't act in his sister's best interests either.
Update: The Toronto Sun says the cult's now considered a flight risk, with good reason:
They operate as a world unto their own, travelling the world for sanctuary, but for at least three members of the Lev Tahor ultra orthodox Jewish sect, Canada will harbour them no more.That vile man called the guy's mother a "devil"? Or did he influence the son to say something so offensive? Either way, Helbrans is guilty, and he should be ashamed of himself.
While their friends were in a Chatham court, fighting to get back some of their children seized over allegations of child abuse, three others appeared at a detention review in Toronto Friday where the Immigration and Refugee Board ordered them held in custody until they can be deported back to Israel.
Lev Tahor (which means pure heart) give true meaning to the adage about wandering Jews.
Founded in Israel by charismatic Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, the extremist community is shunned by mainstream Judaism for its anti-Zionism (they believe the state of Israel can’t exist until the Messiah comes) and harsh interpretation of the Torah.
Its members moved with their leader to Brooklyn where Helbrans was convicted of kidnapping in 1994 after one of his students, a secular 13-year-old boy, disappeared for two years after the rabbi refused to return him to his mother, “the devil.”
Released on parole after serving two years, Helbrans was deported to Israel in 2000 but soon took his followers back across the world, this time to Ste. Agathe, Que.There's something else I've noticed at times on some Haredi men: they shave the top of their heads but keep the sidelocks/burns along with beards. IMO, it's just as distasteful they do such a thing as it is to have the women follow such an example and wear wigs instead of their own hair.
They lived quietly in the small Laurentian town, their community easily identifiable by the women dressed head to toe in black with only their faces and hands showing and the men with long sideburns and shaved heads. But they fled in the middle of the night last November amid a child-welfare investigation involving allegations of abuse and neglect, including forced marriages of girls as young as 14.
...it was hardly surprising that after hearing their cases, IRB member Andrew Laut refused a request by lawyer Guidy Mamann to release them pending their removal from Canada — he saw nothing to suggest they would now show up as required.And when he gets back here, he'd do well to see a psychologist. No joke.
From the hearing it was clear that Lev Tahor may be an insular sect but they certainly know their way around the ever lenient Canadian immigration system.
Avraham Kabaz Kashani, 39, was ordered out of Canada in July 2007 after exhausting years of appeals, including a failed refugee bid. The father of 10 children didn’t report for his removal and remained here illegally until this week’s arrest seven years later.
“I didn’t run, I didn’t hide. I stayed in the same house. I didn’t change my name. We said if they want to take us, they will take us,” he told the hearing.
Unconvinced he’d suddenly now obey a directive and show up at the airport, Laut ordered him held in custody until his passport is retrieved and he’s put on a plane for Israel.
Odel Malka, covered in a black robe resembling a burka, was also told she must remain in detention. The 30-year-old failed refugee claimant and mother of nine was first ordered to leave in 2002, but didn’t board her plane until March 2012. Ten months later, Malka had slipped back in, claiming now that she used a passport bearing a different name, though it has no entry stamp and there’s no record of her crossing the border. “She did not have consent to return to Canada,” Laut said.I guess this leaves one vital question: what about extreme Islamist movements in Canada, the kind who influenced Lev Tahor's MO? Will they be allowed to remain? While Lev Tahor is definitely a bad lot, it should in no way obscure the equally serious issue of the authentic brands of Islamofascism who sadly still have a foothold in Canada too. Once Lev Tahor is dealt with, all concerned would be advised to turn their focus to abusive Muslims living in the great white north. But I've a feeling they won't, alas.
[...] the writing’s on the wall. Canada is no longer a haven for Lev Tahor. The question is where the group will turn up next.