In a letter to students, friends, and supporters, Rabbi Yeshayahu Pinto discussed his latest setback – the decision of the Attorney General's office to indict him on charges of bribery, obstruction of justice, police corruption, and witness tampering. The ordeal he faces is a test, Pinto wrote, and “the greatest test is when a person feels that all paths are closed to him, and all his appeals to G-d are for naught.
“We Jews, as children of the Patriarch Abraham, are bidden in this world, like him, to pass ten existential tests,” among the many other tests man faces, he wrote. “In the past five years, we have faced innumerable daily tests. If not for the help of G-d who accompanied us every step of the way, we would have raised our hands in surrender. I still cannot tell all the suffering I and my family have faced,” but that day would come, he said.
Rabbi Pinto asked his followers to keep the faith, adding that as far as he was concerned, the institutions he runs in his Shuva Yisrael organization would operate as they had in the past. “Our houses of study, our soup kitchens, our schools around the world will continue to operate and accept all who enter,” he wrote. “We will provide them with everything we can, with love of the Jewish people. I am sure that all of the terrible rumors will not destroy our work, and we will emerge from this even more strengthened.”
Rabbi Pinto is being tried for corruption after he allegedly attempted to bribe senior police officer Ephraim Bracha with $200,000 for information about a pending police investigation into the Hazon Yeshaya charity organization, which Pinto was allegedly closely involved with.
The allegations claim that several members of the charity - including Pinto - stole much of the food donated to the kitchen and sold it for "tens of millions of dollars," according to a 2012 Ha'aretz article. As such, Pinto will also be indicted for other charges, including obstruction of justice and money laundering relating to the case.