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'Cult Halbernetz': "haredim suffer from superstition"

B'Chadrei Charedim reveals the full response of the cult 'Lev Tahor', headed by Rabbi Shlomo Halbernetz, in an interview to Channel 10
Yaki Adamker, B'Chadrei Charedim, כ"ו חשון תשע"ג 11/11/2012 10:36

מנהיג לב טהור, הרב  שלמה הלברנץ

'Lev Tahor' congregation, a radical sect located in Canada, was reviewed last night (Wednesday) extensively in 'True side' a broadcast program by Amnon Levi on Channel 10. The community sent a response to the program, spanning 10 pages long. Amnon Levy, who submitted the plan, did not read all of it, probably due to lack of time. On air he introduced the main points relating to the arguments in the article. B'Chadrei Charedim received the full response.

Again, because of its length, we will not publish the full response, but is it considered a cult in the eye of its members? What are the ideological foundations? Why - according to them – is there hatred towards them? personal things written from the heart, to the program pitcher, Amnon Levy.

First, the history of the community: "In תשמ"ח, the Rebbe shlit"a, (the Rebbe) started to give two lessons per week, at the Beit Midrash on 6 Shimon Rokach Street, in the Beis Yisrael neighborhood in Jerusalem. To these classes came a large number of people from very different circles and diverse backgrounds. These shiurim were the beginning of the crystallization community 'Lev Tahor'.

"The general content which united all those who joined our community, and remains so to this day, has never been the Rebbe's private personality, personal charisma, and other various elements, and / or mystical belief in the power and rank of the Rebbe. These ways are object of strong and decisive focus of the Rebbe, and education in our community is structured in a very clear opposition uncompromising elements of this type, which in our view is the main ingredient loss of discretion for an individual or to the public, and therefore do not allow demand for truth, achievement and implementation."

Resistance: The State of Israel and the orthodox

The ability of information and persuasion orally and in writing of our community, attracted the fire of resistance in the most acute form. Resistance is twofold, both from Israel and its supporters who most of world Jewry is under their influence, and by interested parties in Haredi society.

"To supporters of Israel, and through this community presents the threat on the basis of the state of Israel and Zionism, i.e. reliance on the Jewish people, once the Jewish public in Israel materialize again mainly from the state and oppose a passive way, this country will no longer continue assured."

"The Haredi public today in its various factions, although originally based solely on the values of the Torah and the old tradition and nothing more, but due to historical reasons, during the last two hundred years revolutionary winds began to blow and penetrated deeply into the ultra-Orthodox public; Winds of modernization, of education and Zionism and other evils which are actually opposed to the foundation of Judaism. In recent years, the trend of secularization has increased so much that matters which were considered in the recent past as a slew circumstances, (such as military service, national service for women, etc.), have become almost a way of right. The majority of Orthodox institutions today can not declare themselves clean of these winds. There are those who really want to declare themselves as such, but cannot do so because in practice they do not have the tools necessary to delay the windiness of these into their midst, and on the other hand there are also those sectors that even boast about it."

"In addition, in our opinion the Haredi society today are superstitious, false beliefs in various dynastic false Messiahs, Baba's, etc. (although there certainly is from the Torah a concept of Emunat Chachamim, but we are not referring here to that, but to those not worthy of leading.). And of course "zigzags" by various leaders, between the Torah, and different personal interests."

"Another major and decisive reason which caused the conflagration of hate and spreading lies about our community by the ultra-Orthodox society is the fact that over the years several families belonging to old and familiar Hassidic courts joined our community, and powerful inter - Orthodox socialists, and many media and political contacts. The fact that these families left the previous communities, and stuck to our way and our community, created tremendous resistance from all directions, and how much more so from the families and friends of those who came non-religious or orthodox families."

"Despite the possibility of entering the community as a permanent member is rather selective, it should be emphasized that the work selector is done with great gentleness and exemplary and outstanding decorum. Every community member, large and small men and women, are pleasant and gentle in their ways and polite and welcoming, and there is no need to add that the Rebbe himself is pleasant and all his words and actions are a living example to all members of the community on behavior."

Allegations and comments:

- "Hitting children, physical punishments including hitting according to the orders by Rabbi Halbernetz, sometimes hitting children who are naked."
Answer: There is no lie inverse of reality than that.

- "extreme separation between men and women":
Answer: We are an Orthodox Mehadrin community, of course there is a partition in the synagogue between men and women, of course there are separate institutions, boys and girls, of course, only a man teaches or lectures for children and men, and only woman teaching or serving girls and women, of course we are not Bnei Akiva or Conservative, So what exactly is the argument and exactly what you think, you just need material to stimulate the issue of exclusion of women from its slumber?

- "Harsh physical punishment":
Answer: No one has ever been beaten at the Lev Tahor community, not children, not adults, nor punishers and ostracizes and informers, and anyone who says so is delusional or a liar or both (lyrics liability). If he was not delusional or a liar – I do not understand why just not pick up the phone to the police when they beat him and they would save him.

- "mental and spiritual abuse":
Answer: The Lev Tahor community, with all its members and its women and innocent infants, are persecuted from time to time by mental and spiritual abuse by various lenders usually on merciless publications and media of blood libel. They would do well if they would reduce or even prevent such abuse.


- "Neglect and starvation of children":
Answer: neglect and starvation as a punishment or a method, certainly does not exist.
As to the economic situation: children in the community are groomed higher than average, very clean, with cut nails, and looking healthier than other Haredi communities, which is totally not by chance, many energies are invested here in raising children in a healthy manner, maintaining a proper level of hygiene and sanitation and health education (including brushing teeth, sleeping and getting up orders, and exercise time), of course Kate town where we live is entirely mountainous rivers lakes and forests, and unique and fresh air, adds to this reality.

- "Disobedience to the laws of the city Saint Agathe":
Answer: We obey all laws of the town completely, a little more than Israel's politicians keep their laws.

- "Re-education, separation of children from their parents and their transfer between families":
Answer: There is regular and proper education for children and young girls. Education is according to Orthodox Jewish tradition and also general studies required under Quebec law who's exact definition is now being carried out in court concerning Jewish institutions and other religions. There is no need for re-education.

There is no separation between parents and children. There is help if parents want and need this help, especially for a woman after birth as is customary in many places. There was one or two cases when one family helped another family warmly upon request, this is nothing to do with the management of the community it belongs to favors between families. So seriously, even those who help you complain about?!

- Kidnapping of Shai Fima
Answer: Of course you know, the Rebbe was sentenced and charged for helping eliminate the Israeli child Shai Fima and sentenced to two years in prison in New York, and served his sentence.

A. Shai Fima tried to escape from his parents at least three times before he came first to the Rebbe.

B. The mother of the child, Shai Fima and his stepfather, pleaded with the Rebbe to keep him some time at his home and Yeshiva, and then he stayed at his home for about three weeks.

C. After three weeks he was forced by them to leave the Rebbe's home.

D. Three weeks later, Shai Fima escaped from his parents from his own free will and initiative.

- "Imposition of boycotts and ostracisms on community members":
Answer: We have already explained above, the only way to effect is pure logic and therefore there is no room for boycotts and ostracisms. On Erev Rosh Hashana we say: "Everything will be allowed to you, all is forgiven, all are immersed in you, there is not a vow or an oath or nuns or not ban or boycott and divestment, and in praise from not damned., But there is forgiveness and pardon and atonement ..."

- "Many punishments such as forcing a person to sleep in the study hall or prevent him from participating in community events":
Answer: Like all the other lies, things are taken out of context. If a person decided himself to study until late in the study hall and then put his head on the table and fell asleep, then it turns into punishments and 'many'. And events of the community everyone comes eagerly and happily, and who has not seen joy by us has never seen real joy in his life ... Everyone is welcome.

- Underage marriages occurring between the proponents of community ":
Answer: We officiate as early as possible, as you know "eighteen to canopy", but sometimes the couple decided to marry earlier, we have had couples marry at the age of 16, as long as the parents consented by law. Of course, the exact age depends primarily on the couple themselves when they want and when they are ready. Early marriage is a healthy practice and decent, especially since the haredi public relations outside of marriage are not accepted, there is no logical reason to delay the marriage of a human couple too long. As with everything, exaggeration is celebrating, rumors of the registration of marriage at the age of 15 and a half in the U.S. have turned into a marriage at age 12, and anyone who wants to joke then let him.

- "Providing shelter to Rabbi Elior Chen":
Answer: Elior Chen, arrived here anonymously and abruptly on the first or second day of his case when no one even knew he was being sought after, he of course did not tell anyone why he came. He came as a Meshulach, we received him warmly as we accept every guest, we let him eat like we give every guest and he slept here a night or two. After realizing they were looking for him in Canada he disappeared and flew to Brazil. From police search conducted after he left, we found out we had a "unique" guest. Our address was known to Chen through the 'Derech Hatzalah' book he found, he did not speak a word at the airport in Canada just showed them the book with the address above (a piece of information the police who was looking for him gave us).

- "Providing psychiatric drugs without a prescription and without appropriate assessment":
Answer: Nonsense, it never happened. If anyone comes to the community and it turns out he is in need of drugs assistance of one kind or another, of course, friends advise him to see a doctor to get the prescription and proper diagnosis. There are some people with mental health problems who got hurt and angry for such advice, and are still avenging us about it. They should at least now see a doctor for diagnosis and appropriate prescription as soon as possible.




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