Sexting pol Anthony Weiner often seeks counsel with Rabbi to the Stars Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto
BY Reuven Blau • New York Daily News
Rep. Anthony Weiner might want to turn to his rabbi for more than spiritual support.
The embattled Queens-Brooklyn Democrat is a follower of Rabbi to the Stars Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, a self-proclaimed kabbalah scholar who puts death curses on his critics.
The 37-year-old Pinto comes from a long line of Moroccan rabbinical royalty, only speaks Hebrew and refuses to meet with women. Weiner regularly stops by his classes and holiday gatherings, sources said.
In return, the rabbi has instructed his wealthy, largely Israeli, followers to hold fund-raisers for the pol, a staunch supporter of Israel and Jewish causes.
The list of Pinto-tied money bundlers includes high-powered lawyer Morris Missry and developers Zina Sapir and Haim Binstock. They held fund-raisers for Weiner that gathered $343,800 for his runs for mayor in 2009 and other elections, records show.
The rabbi grabbed headlines last summer when a picture of LeBron James holding his hand surfaced shortly after the basketball star chose to sign with the Miami Heat. James consulted with the rabbi for business advice.
Weiner also has occasionally attended classes given by the rabbi at his tony upper East Side headquarters on E. 58th St. off Lexington Ave., around the corner from Bloomingdale's.
In their private discussions, "they would talk about Israel," a member of Pinto's inner circle said. "They'd ask [Weiner] why Obama wasn't more supportive."
The Israel-born rabbi is also not immune to bad press. His townhouse is facing foreclosure, a top aide was linked to the porn business and a real estate broker on whom he placed a death curse plunged to his death from the 19th floor of the Jumeirah Essex House last June.
Solomon Obstfeld had rented at least one luxury apartment to the rabbi at a below-market rate, but the two men began feuding over late payments shortly before Obstfeld's sudden death.
Weiner is not the only congressman with deep ties to Rabbi Pinto. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-S.I.) and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have both met with Pinto multiple times and collected thousands in contributions from the rabbi's followers.
With Erin Einhorn.