Rabbi runs a Kabbalah 'con' in NY
By SELIM ALGAR • New York Post
The Brooklyn DA is investigating whether a shadowy, Israel-based Kabbalist rabbi bilked vulnerable New York Jews out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by offering divine promises for cash, The Post has learned.
A stream of alleged victims from Borough Park, Brooklyn, to Englewood, NJ, said Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira, of Beersheba, Israel, demanded money from them during annual visits to Orthodox Jewish communities in the tri-state area.
"This man is hurting people," said Borough Park businessman Menachem Ellowich, 53, who signed over a check for $100,000 -- shown to The Post -- in exchange for a guarantee that his barren daughter would be able to conceive a child.
She never did.
"He ruined my life. He ruined my finances by making these promises."
"We know about him," said Brooklyn Assistant DA Eileen Ayvazian. "It's an active investigation."
Rabbi Yisroel Abuchatzeira, zt"l (1890-1984) renowned as the Baba Sali, was born in Morocco and succeeded his father as the Rav of Tafillal. He was recognized as a brilliant scholar and holy person from his youth. Together with the majority of Moroccan Jews, the Baba Sali immigrated to Israel in 1964, where people from all sectors of the population sought him out. His advice and blessing were sought by Sephardim, Chassidim, as well as Misnagdim. He passed away in 1984, leaving many feeling orphaned.
On Monday, April 16, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira of Beersheva, grandson of the Baba Sali, arrived in the United States. Rabbi Abuchatzeira, revered by many in the Chassidishe community here, acceded to their request to visit here. Both Sephardim and Chassidim seek to meet with him.…