Lev Tahor? When Fundamentalists Go Wrong

Lev Tahor, the notorious burqa-cult based outside Montreal in Canada, is identified as the most extreme fundamentalist religious group within the Haredi world, breaking both Canadian law and halakha. This Israeli documentary interviews former members of the anti-Zionist cult and takes a former member back to find his mother whom he has not seen since he was fourteen when the cult expelled him and sent him back to Israel.

Previous anti-Messianic commenters here have sought to erroneously claim that the David Koresh’s (Vernon Wayne Howel) Seventh Day Adventist splinter group, the Branch Davidian cult at Waco were Messianic Jews. This is an attempt to try to besmirch the name of Messianic Jews by association with a cult. The reality is they were not Jews, nor Jewish-born and disciples of Yeshua, which are the two components required to be a Messianic Jew. However the person who put the sign “Messianic Jews” up at Waco was not Jewish but an adherent of a variation of the British Israelite ideology, claiming they are the ‘true’ descendants of the Jewish people!

Be that as it may, destructive control cults are active in all religious communities, none are exempt. Predators will always seek people to prey upon and leaders of all religious communities must protect and warn their congregants from such people and ideologies. The Messianic Jewish world has also suffered from predators such as the Seven-Wife-Messiah Philip Sharp, read here.

The Lev Tahor documentary program can also be viewed here and a description in English here

Philip Sharp, heads a less obvious family cult but it is still a cult, and he was never a rabbi and not an ordained Messianic rabbi. Such men as Shlomo Helbrans the leader of Lev Tahor and Philip Sharp prey on vulnerable religiously devoted people and our own respective faith communities need to be more vigilant and make sure to offer them no place to hide and thrive.