American Musical Classics and the Dream of Israel


wizard of ozI recently received an email which initially emanated from Louise Blondin Media Inc. about the origin and symbolism of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The song was voted the 20th century’s number one song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Very few people realize the significance of the film and how it is deeply embedded and reflective of the Jewish experience and the fulfillment of the dream of the establishment of the State of Israel. This really “hit home to me” in light of the events in the Middle East last summer, when rockets or “the flying bombs” were being propelled at Israeli citizens, and Israeli citizens entrenched themselves in their desire to persevere.

Many of the great American classics were written by Jews, and Jews have left their mark on Broadway from its very earliest beginning. Songs such as God Bless America and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” were written by Johnny Marks, while “White Christmas” and “God Bless America” were written by Irving Berlin, a cantor’s son. They were all Jewish. Jews have left their mark on the American and contemporary musical landscapes.

Probably, the best example of the embodiment of the Jewish aspirations for freedom and to live in a land where they belong and can call home is reflected by “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” whose lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, and whose music was written by Harold Arlen. Yip Harburg whose real name was Isidore Hochberg was born to Russian Jewish Immigrants, while Harold Arlen was born as Hyman Arluck to Lithuanian Jewish parents.

In writing the song, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish traditions and consciousness – framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen – and wrote that unforgettable melody set to words that embody the Jewish spirit and the need to persevere in a land of their own.

When one reads the lyrics of the song, it is easy to visualize how it is reflective of the Jewish experiences of intolerance and the repeated expulsion from many a land throughout the centuries, and as immigrants to America in search of freedom. Each year at the end of Passover, Jews traditionally recite the words: “Next year in Jerusalem”. With the onset of World War II and its atrocities, with the allusion to the “land I once heard in a lullaby” and “dreams you dare to dream” the song becomes prophetic of the yearning for the creation of the State of Israel.

In honour of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the release of the “Wizard of Oz”, the song was performed by Pink at the 2014 Oscar Awards. She sang the song with highlights of the film in the background.

Read the lyrics in this context and suddenly the words are no longer about wizards and Oz, but about Jewish survival in a land that they can call their own:

Somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high,

There’s a land that I heard of

Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Skies are blue,

And the dreams that you dare to dream

Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far

Behind me.

Where troubles melt like lemon drops

Away above the chimney tops

That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Bluebirds fly.

Birds fly over the rainbow.

Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly

Beyond the rainbow

Why, oh why can’t I?

Lev Tahor: How They Recruit The Unsuspecting


Shlomo Helbrans

Shlomo Helbrans Lev Tahor Cult Leader

The Orthodox Jewish cult called Lev Tahor has been called heretics and evil, and is shunned by most factions of organized Judaism in Canada and are known as a cult. Since media coverage of this cult and the many allegations against them from child welfare and law enforcement officials about child abuse, beatings, children forcibly being removed from their parents and being placed with other parents as a form of punishment, underage marriages as young as 13 years, children sleeping in urine soaked beds, poor hygiene, low educational standards, running away from the law and human trafficking Canadian and International Jewry have for the most part shunned them.

I wrote about how they the cult has managed to acquire millions to fund their, if not illegal but questionable activities. Now I would like to discuss how this group of lunatics manages to recruit or suck in their prey.

I have been doing a great deal of research, and I have been asking many questions from members of the families who have lost brothers, sisters and children to the cult about this. As a result, I’m hoping to paint a picture that gives everyone some idea or at least some insight about how they manage to bring new members to the cult.

Normally, all religions pray to a divine entity. Lev Tahor, like other cults prey on the weak, the susceptible, the unsuspecting and the ideologically vulnerable, and they do have some willing sympathizers who may be called willing conspirators.

From the communications which I have had with the families of those that were sucked into the cult, I have been told of stories where members of Lev Tahor, specially in Israel visit Orthodox Hareidi synagogues and yeshivot armed with many copies of the book written by Shlomo Helbrans, the cult’s leader. From what I have been told, this book is very well and convincingly written.

They leave many copies at these synagogues and yeshivot hoping that the easily impressionable and weak minded, who are seeking some form of spiritual fulfillment or satisfaction will read the book. Once they have read the book once, they are encouraged to read it many more times till the rhetoric is firmly planted in their minds and begins to sprout. Once they read the book, they are encouraged to contact Helbrans who spends hours upon hours and days upon days giving his sales pitch which encourages them to leave their thoughts behind and take on his own view of religion and the world. Helbrans has been described as very charismatic and convincing. He was able to fool many individuals including Global Television.

Also, I found out about Keter Malchut, an Orthodox Hareidi yeshiva for girls located in Jerusalem. According to the mother of the two girls that were returned by Canadian immigration officials to Israel several years ago, and then once again tried to enter Canada via Jordan, the principal of Keter Malchut acts as a Lev Tahor recruiter. The school is supported by a hyper-Hareidi movement of women who have discarded most of the ways of the general Hareidi movement including wigs and cover their faces. Their role is to funnel girls to this school for further indoctrination, and their views can best be described as preaching the abandonment of women of day-to-day society and to live as shut-ins.

Finally, there is the role of the matchmaker. Due to a shortage of young girls, matchmakers play a key role in finding girls as young as 13 or 14 years to marry much older men to bare children.

 

Lev Tahor: Where The Money Comes From


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Members of Lev Tahor

Time and time again, whenever I ask where Lev Tahor gets the money to finance their activities, I get the same answer: “I don’t know”. And whenever I ask the same question, I get the same answer: “I wish you’d tell me”.

I have been doing a great deal of research, and I have been asking many questions from members of the families who have lost brothers, sisters and children to the cult about this. As a result, I’m hoping to paint a picture that gives everyone some idea or at least some insight about how they have amassed their millions.

There are probably several Hareidi controlled private charities that funnel money to Lev Tahor in both Canada and the U.S. In a previous post, I found and talked about some larger charities such as the Society for Spiritual Development, one of Lev Tahor’s charities which  transferred $3.3 million to another Jewish charity in Quebec, the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institution in 2012. I did find the revenues, expenditures, assets and liabilities reported by the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions in 2012 which is illustrated in the following figure.

capture2[1]This was the same year that Lev Tahors’ Society for Spiritual Development transferred $3.3 million to this charity. I still cannot understand how the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions can report revenues of $678,470 when it received a transfer of $3.3 million from Lev Tahor. I am also curious about the relationship between the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions, and Lev Tahor and its Society for Spiritual Development.

There are other ways in which the cult generates funds in which to sustain itself.

I have been told that the father of the two remaining girls that recently banished from foster care in Canada boasted about how he went travelled throughout Orthodox Hareidi communities and to their synagogues raising funds which amounted to $3,000 per day.

Lev Tahor is quite adept and creative in their ability to manipulate the system and those they recruit into their cult. I was told of one case where a family in Israel that supported them made regular donations. Once they joined the cult, their property in Israel was handed over to the cult, which immediately sold the property. Just consider that the average house or condominium in Jerusalem sells for several hundred of thousands of dollars. If three families give up their housing to Lev Tahor, that is $1 million by which Lev Tahor is enriched.

They, as well as many other Orthodox sects are also known to manipulate and take advantage of existing government social assistance programs. In Ontario, a married couple with one child receives approximately $1,100 per month. This amount increases based on the number of children. When most families have 4 children or more, the monthly benefits that they could receive becomes quite significant. Helbrans and his lieutenants then hold their money to pay (and then some) for their housing, and give them a portion for food and other essentials. The cult then sets up a grocery store where members can buy food probably at inflated prices.

As you can see, socialism and caring for their brethren has fallen to wayside at Lev Tahor. One journalist in Montreal told me that members of Lev Tahor used to travel to the Tash orthodox colony near St. Therese Quebec to milk their goat. He then returned to sell the milk to Lev Tahor members. So capitalism and racketeering is also alive at Lev Tahor.