Here's a link you may not want to follow. It tells the story of Elior Chen and his circle of disciples, who crashed into our attention recently when one of the disciples, a mother of eight, was brought to trial for torturing her children. The leader, Chen, has escaped the country. It is a weird story, bizarre, but mostly it's horrendous.
There's a gag order on the case since children are involved, so it's not clear if it's one case, or two. Because there's another mother, this one with 12 children, who is also on trial for cruelty to her children. Although unnamed, she has been in the public eye for a number of months already, because she dresses just like the Taliban likes its women, totally covered, and apparently she has a following of perhaps a few dozen women who regard her as a saint. I think there's no connenction between the cases, in spite of the similarities, but some of the news reports I've seen seem to tie them together.
It's all nauseating. But it's worthy of our notice because unlike some aberrations - say, the non-Jewish Russian thugs arrested last year in Netanya for their neo-Nazi practices - these two cases started well within the Jewish tradition. They have long since lost any mooring they might have had in Judaism, indeed, they totally contradict what Judaism is about, but the trail head of their twisted journey was from within. Moreover, their surrounding environment was not able to put a stop to them; for that an intervention of the state was necessary. They are a demonstration why society always needs vigilance, and belief in the good of Man isn't enough.