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'Lev Tahor' in Knesset: " Hitler and Stalin - good teachers"

Shocking abuse by Lev Tahor cult revealed in discussions of child rights • "sadistic cult, claims are awful"
Sari Roth, Behadrey Haredim, כ"ד כסלו תשע"ד 27/11/2013 21:57

מנהיג לב טהור, הרב  שלמה הלברנץ Shlomo Halberanz

Hitting children with iron bars, denial of food, taking psychiatric pills by coercion and total disconnection from the family in Israel. These are some of the testimonies heard today (Tuesday) by the Committee in the Knesset, about the Israeli families at the 'Lev Tahor' community in Canada. It was also told about achieving compliance by constant pain such as wearing shoes smaller than one's shoe size, forced divorce and marriage from the age of 14 to age gaps, including a 15 -year-old boy marrying a 40 year old woman, and vice versa.

Committee chairman, MK Orly Levy - Abaksis (Likud Beiteinu) said that "those who are exposed to evidence apparently can not remain indifferent. We have a role, a duty and responsibility to Israeli children, and for two years the prosecution is delaying their rescue, shuffling and not initiating cooperation with social services, foreign affairs and education. In terms of results - the prosecution has failed".

Her faction colleauge, MK Yariv Levin, who initiated the hearing, added that "While the entire dealing with cults is not clear, what actually is defined as a cult, and what is freedom of speech, but the serious allegations are atrocious and must be checked. It's an emergency and the Justice Department has yet to provide a response. For two years the cry has not been heard and every day that passes is a crime. Yariv demanded that the ministries of foreign affairs, justice, internal security and welfare will gather for the first time after two years of reports on the case, decide what to do - and report to the committee in two weeks.

MK Yaakov Margi (Shas) added evidence on preventing diaper changing - but twice a day, and stressed that "this is a sadistic cult". Esther Katzovshvili, whose daughter lives in the community, adding that, "I chose not to be afraid anymore. The families are controlled by a criminal, whose son ran away, by boycotts, fasts, dipping in freezing water and beating. They see in the demonstration of feelings towards children - the invention of the Gentiles. I heard clearly from their leader, Rabbi Erez Alberns that he sees in Hitler and Stalin good teachers." Zofia Nahon, who accompanied families affected by the cult, noted that, "there is a body in the community called 'the help of family', that transfers children from families whose confidence in the cult leader has been shaken – to another family for re-education, for two years."

Orit Cohen, whose brother attended the hearing as community representative on the other hand, also claimed evidence of beatings, imprisonment, mental pressure to get married, a father forcing his son to take psychiatric pills, and more. She said that when the son of the cult leader, Natan Alberns, rebelled against his father and played music for his children, his children were taken away to another family in the community, and he was beaten up to the point of breaking bones.

Moti Levy, officer of Jerusalem police interrogation, admitted that "the evidence is substantial, and are suspect of the most serious criminal offenses," but Attorney Galit Greenberg from the Justice Ministry, claimed in response there was the difficulty of obtaining evidence when it comes to a cult, for they themselves do not complain about abduction of their children from them. I cannot share with family members and members of the committee details of the investigation and treatment, but we are working every day in excellent cooperation with Canadian authorities, and consider the affair with severity." Her words were strongly attacked by MKs Levy - Abaksis, Levin, Margi and Yaakov Asher (United Torah Judaism) who argued that in the test result - for two years practical steps were not taken, and even a joint meeting with the Foreign Affairs and welfare officials was not held. Even Ilana Ravid, director of the Foreign Ministry department for distress of Israelis confirmed that families are those who contacted the office - and not the prosecution.

Representative of "Lev Tahor" Shaul Bauyer, said that for seven months the Canadian Community Social Services checked the community and found no evidence of abuse or torture. "The children of the community are relaxed and happy and there is no psychiatric treatment. Although social workers removed five children from the community, but that is because of the father - living apart from their mother - hit them. There was one case of marriage of a 16 year old girl, and no other cases. The State of Israel persecutes Rabbi Halberanz because of his opinions."

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