It seems that there is trouble in paradise for Lev Tahor. After fleeing Quebec in the middle of the night last December for Chatham-Kent, and then defying a court order not to leave the Chatham area, the cult any way fled to the idyllic village of San Juan de Laguna, Guatemala where they sought refuge. The remaining few families left Chatham quietly for Guatemala over the last few weeks. From what I understand, 2 of the girls placed into foster care by the Ontario courts have now been abandoned by their parents.
They are now being “run out of town” lock, stock and Chumash. According to reports, village elders threatened to cut off water and electricity to the cult if they didn’t leave.
Some boarded buses during the last few days of August in search of a welcoming Guatemalan community which will allow them to build 30 homes. The rest will follow in the next few days.
Once again, the cult leadership, is conveniently playing the role of the poor victim. “I don’t understand why they don’t want us. We’re doing nothing bad here,” Uriel Goldman, a spokesperson for the community wrote in an e-mail, “They also warned us they would remove us from the village by force.”
One community resident was quoted saying that several members of the group had upset residents because of their arrogant attitude. He went on to say that several times members of the Lev Tahor community would go into stores and pay whatever they wanted for the products rather than the marked price. They also bothered tourists where on one occasion there was a tourist taking pictures of a hill and the Jews thought he was taking photos of them and they clashed.
After reading what residents have said, it is easy to come to a conclusion that it’s absolute poppy-cock! Even if one of the members did say that there were people who liked them and cried when they left, where are his/her witnesses? Statements like this mean nothing without proof. So if any resident of San Juan de Laguna wants to come forward and say that he/she supports this cult, I welcome them to do so. But be prepared to provide your real name and proof that you are a resident.
What bothers me is that there are still Jews who continue to conveniently cry anti-Semitism instead of looking within themselves. Just listen to the following interview by Uriel Goldman where he accuses the Canadian courts of planning genocide against the cult.
Rabbi Shalom Pelman, who leads the Chabad Lubavitch congregation in Guatemala’s capital city, said it is the type of activity that brings to mind the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. He went on to say: “This is not typical in the world I live in. Even in Iran, Jews are not expelled.”
As a child of holocaust survivors, I feel that Rabbi Pelman is cheapening the holocaust when he equates the cult’s eviction with Nazi Germany. During the reign of Hitler, the Jews of many of the towns and villages lived if not in harmony, at least in co-existence with gentiles. It was only with the emergence with Nazism were Jews deported. By the way, at that time they were deported to concentration camps.
I wonder if Rabbi Pelman spoke to his colleague at Chabad in San Pedro, Guatemala which has served San Juan de Laguna since 2010. Is this Chabad House being forced to close down because of anti-Semitism and harassment from the local community?
Shame on you, Rabbi Pelman! Did you go to San Juan de Laguna and investigate? Did you speak with any of the locals?
The answer here lies in the arrogance of the cult according to locals, and their refusal to conform to societal norms. It was seen in Quebec where authorities determined that society’s minimal standards of education were not being met. The CBC showed how children could not add numbers.
There may even be a sense of entitlement by the cult and its leaders. What respectful individual would go into a store, and tell a store keeper how much he will pay for an item, when the price is posted? Central America is not eastern Europe where anti-Semitism has been entrenched for centuries upon centuries.
It’s a holier than thou art attitude that is practiced by Lev Tahor and other Hareidi sects. It’s one thing to practice your religion and culture freely. But it is another thing to practice your religion while invading the norms of general society and mocking society and everyone else’s beliefs.
As a Jew, Lev Tahor has little tolerance for me, and they have called me many names. I have news for them. At the end of the day I can go to sleep with a clear conscience knowing that I have tried to be respectful of others and their beliefs. However, I draw the line at others who commit child and spousal abuse. From what I have been told, and from what I have seen, Lev Tahor practices both types of abuse.
In the case of Lev Tahor, it’s called RESPECT. Without showing respect for others, and in the case of this cult, I doubt that they will be welcome anywhere.