A year since leader’s death, ultra-Orthodox ‘cult’ hibernates in Central America


It’s been almost a year since Shlomo Helbrans drowned in Mexico, leaving Lev Tahor, the controversial religious sect he founded in Israel in the 1980s, without its charismatic leader.


The flock, which followed Helbrans from Jerusalem’s Beit Yisrael neighborhood to Brooklyn to the snowy suburbs of Montreal before settling in tropical Guatemala, now faces an uncertain future.


Driven by Helbrans’s anti-Zionist beliefs and known for its extreme customs — women and girls are covered head-to-toe by full-length black garments, marriages are arranged and separation by gender is strictly enforced — Lev Tahor has been dogged by legal troubles everywhere it’s gone.


Continue reading: https://www.timesofisrael.com/a-year-since-leaders-death-ultra-orthodox-cult-hibernates-in-central-america/


Photo by Yaakov Naumi / Flash 90

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