3 Radical anti-Zionist Jewish cult leader drowns in Mexico
Rabbi Shlomo Erez Helbrans, leader of the "Lev Tahor" ("Pure Heart") radical Jewish sect, was found drowned in a river in the Mexican state of Chiapas on Friday, according to local media. According to local media, Helbrans' body was pulled from the river by rescue forces on Friday afternoon after the rabbi was swept away by strong currents while swimming before Shabbat. Rabbi Helbrans was the head of a group of 40 families who entered the state of Chiapas about 3 weeks ago, after crossing the border from Guatemala. Helbrans was born Shlomo Elbarnes into a non-religious family in Jerusalem, and became religious later on. He studied at the Itri Yeshiva in Jerusalem before founding the Lev Tahor sect in the 1980s. Lev Tahor is an ultra-Orthodox sect comprised of predominantly Jewish Orthodox extremists who leave their families behind in Israel as part of a wider boycott of Zionism. The group is widely considered to be a cult for its extreme conduct.