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Rabbi Pinto Visits the Cave of Machpelah

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, on a visit to Israel, stops by the Cave of Machpelah.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/21/2010, 3:16 AM / Last Update: 12/21/2010, 11:03 AM

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, a highly esteemed spiritual figure who is a descendant of well-known rabbis on both sides of his family, visited the Cave of Machpelah (The Cave of the Patriarchs) during a tour of Israel.

Speaking at the second holiest site for Jews, Rabbi Pinto explained about its importance. “It is a well-known fact that any Jew who passes from this world, his soul comes to the entrance of the Cave of Machpelah and this is the place from which souls enter before G-d into heaven,” said the rabbi.

He explained that the cave, where three Biblical couples - Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah – are buried, is extremely important to the Jewish people and that this can be seen in the story of Esau, Jacob’s brother, who attempted unsuccessfully to have a foothold in the Cave of Machpelah so that no Jews could be buried there. This importance, said Rabbi Pinto, can also be seen in the story of Jacob who made his son Joseph swear and promise that he will bury him in the Cave of Machpelah.

Rabbi Pinto emphasized how important it is for each Jew to connect to his roots. “If a Jew is not connected to his roots, he has no liveliness,” he said and added that each of us faces difficulties in our lives and that it would be easier to deal with those difficulties if we are connected to our roots.

He concluded by reminding everyone that above all, each person must always remember to have confidence in G-d. “These are difficult times for the people of Israel. On the one hand there is great goodness but on the other hand many difficulties. These are mixed and uneasy times in Israel. Man must accept these happily and with love, thank G-d for all the goodness he gives and become closer to our creator and to our holy ancestors.”

Rabbi Pinto is the great-grandson of Rabbi Chaim Pinto on his father’s side, while on his mother's side he is the grandson of the famed kabbalist Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, known as the Baba Sali. He lives in Midtown New York City and is visited by many businessmen, both Israeli and Jewish-American, who consult with him on both business and personal matters. Some of the more well-known visitors he has received include Yitzhak Tshuva, talk-show host Donny Deutsch, real estate mogul Ofer Yardeni, and even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He has also been visited by Israeli politicians such as Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, MK Danny Naveh, and MK Danny Danon.

Rabbi Pinto recently made headlines due to his efforts to encourage more business investments in Israel. He held a closed meeting with 80 Jewish American businessmen in the city of Silistra, Bulgaria, and asked them to invest $5 billion in the Israeli economy.