Category Archives: International

Lev Tahor and The Quebec Homeschooling Case

Nachman Helbrans (front), son of group founder Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, said, "We were speaking with lawyers and organizations — especially the Home School Legal Defense Association and many associations associated with them — and all of them tell us that we must leave Quebec."

“Lev Tahor is a fringe movement from within ultra-orthodox Judaism and is headed by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans and his son Nachman. The Rabbi is now estranged from his wife and one of his sons, who are now in Israel. Lev Tahor has been called a ‘Haredi burqa sect’ or part of the ‘Jewish Taliban.’ Its members are known in Canada and Israel for homeschooling their children. Sometime in 2013, investigations began in Quebec due to concerns about the children’s education and welfare, the young ages of girls given in marriage, as well as allegations of abuse.”

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German Churches Up in Arms over Abuse Study

German Bible. Photo by J. Stahl.

“There is a serious problem when familial violence becomes an accepted piece of one’s culture and religious upbringing — when we normalize it to the extent that no one is shocked at all. Issues brought forward by the Twelve Tribes in Germany are not at all shocking in many parts of the United States because such methods have become so normalized. So many people believe it is the right thing to do. Anything contrary is ‘unbiblical.'”

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Homeschooling Is A Human Right, But That Doesn’t Make It Immune To Regulation

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“In a recent post, Ryan made the case that homeschooling is not a human right and, as a result, state regulation of homeschooling (or even outright prohibition, as in Germany), does not amount to a violation of human rights. As much as I have been appreciating his examination of homeschooling culture, in this instance I disagree with his analysis.”

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Pirates, Bible Abiders, and The German Tea Party: What Germans Think

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“One of the things I get asked quite frequently is ‘What do those living in Germany think about parents who want to teach their children at home?’ Also, ‘Is there as much hype in Germany about these cases like what we’re hearing in the US?’ which is quickly followed by, ‘Is it just not in your news?’ I’d like to try to share some of what I have seen and heard in response to those questions.”

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The Fundamental Reality of The Family Is Not Just Amorphous “Rights” Language

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“‘The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.’ That’s article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… That statement transcends legal controversy or political debate: it states a principle that is widely shared… It is an affirmation of how people generally feel about the dignity and centrality of home and family.”

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The Mutterpass: Motherhood, Healthcare, and Homeschooling in Germany

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“I usually stammer a bit and try to explain that things are just so different here with German culture vs. American or Canadian culture. With the healthcare system that we have, women who are prenatal and postnatal are well cared for and children are seen as an investment and something that the entire ‘village’ should protect. It all starts when you get your first positive pregnancy test.”

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