"…[Pinto] became aware of his own supernatural abilities when he was just 11 years old. “The rabbi was a kid in school,” related a follower who’d been told the story. “And there was a teacher who was not good. The rabbi prayed, ‘God, please punish this person.’ An hour later the teacher was riding a bicycle when he had an accident. Until today he’s in a wheelchair.”…"
Above: Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto
New York Magazine has one-sided profile of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto that is truly shameful.
It omits almsot every bad thing Pinto has or allegedly has done and minimizes those few it does report.
And much of the piece reads like a hagiography, not a profile in a real magazine that claims to report news. A brief excerpt:
"…[Pinto] became aware of his own supernatural abilities when he was just 11 years old. “The rabbi was a kid in school,” related a follower who’d been told the story. “And there was a teacher who was not good. The rabbi prayed, ‘God, please punish this person.’ An hour later the teacher was riding a bicycle when he had an accident. Until today he’s in a wheelchair.”
By the time he was 13, Pinto was delivering Torah lectures that drew hundreds. Elders sought his counsel. At age 20, on the day he was married to the daughter of the chief rabbi of Argentina, a union of two distinguished bloodlines, his father, an esteemed rabbi himself, took Pinto to the cemetery where his grandfather, another rabbi, was buried. “You are an old soul,” he told his son. “We have been waiting for you for 200 years. You will continue this dynasty.”
Pinto could have pursued his dynastic destiny in Israel. But from an early age he had even grander ambitions. “He wanted to help everyone in the world,” a follower explained.…
Like the devout Old Testament figure whom HaShem tested with an outlandish series of troubles, Rabbi Pinto has lately had more than his share of calamities. And, also like Job, the rabbi had spent his previous life trying to be as close to God as possible. But unlike Job, the special relationship he’d cultivated made him a powerhouse in Israel and New York. He’s a mystical McKinsey, a Kabbalist consultant. Among his congregation, it’s believed that his advice, if carefully followed, can set a person on the path to prosperity. One core constituency is the real-estate community in New York City, especially Sephardic Jews like himself, who in the last couple of decades have been winning the New York City game of thrones. “His blessing is very, very strong,” said one developer, an Israeli transplant like many of his other wealthy congregants. “Age-wise, the rabbi is 40,” said another. “Life-wise, he is 400 years old. He can see things you and I cannot see.”…
The less well-off waited for hours for a few words of encouragement from the rabbi, but it was wealthy real-estate developers who became his favored clientele. For the rabbi, this was only common sense. “The poor people come and in two minutes tell me that they are troubled and need money,” a follower recalled him explaining. “The rich people tell me the same thing, but it takes an hour.”…
All of this is reported without any attempt to ascertain its truth or to put haredi hagiography into context.
And that is just the way New York Magazine reports the crimes Pinto allegedly committed – and even the ones he admitted to.
Most of Pinto's alleged crimes are simply not mentioned. The looting of the Hazon Yeshaya charity Pinto controlled is reported without mentioning that what was stolen was hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of aide earmarked for elderly Holocaust survivors, and that Pinto's personal expenses (and much of his cash flow) allegedly came from that stolen money. New York Magazine also minizes Pinto's role by writing that Hazon Yeshaya is "a charity [Pinto] supported," rather than the truth – Pinto controlled Hazon Yeshaya and allegedly personally benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from it.
His bribery is reported without mentioning police have one instance, the attempted bribe of senior police officer Ephraim Bracha, on tape, or that hundreds of thousands of dollars was involved. Bracha was cooperating with police and wore a wire that captured the bribe being given, all in cash, by Pinto's messenger – his wife Debora.
The Pintos were immediately hauled in by police. Debora Pinto tried to commit suicide hours later. New York Magazine reports none of this.
Instead, it tries to smear Bracha because Bracha's attorney was later – much later – arrested for allegedly trying to illegally influence police investigations.
It also reports Debora Pinto's earlier suicide attempts after giving birth to twins years before. But, again, New York Magazine makes no mention of her well-publicized suicide attempt after her bribery was exposed.
Tomer Shohat representing a group of investors is suing Pinto, Pinto's brother, Pinto's top aide Benzion Suky (his cousin and former pornographer) and NYPD Detective and Pinto crony Eric Patino for looting a real estate project and for trying to destroy Shohat by having him falsely arrested. (The felony larceny charges against Shohat were dismissed, the NYPD won't comment on what happened, and Shohat is suing.) The suit was originally filed months ago (and amened and refiled two weeks ago) and was well-publicized in the New York media. The pattern of alleged crime in many ways mirrors what happened at Hazon Yeshaya. But New York Magazine doesn't report it.
New York Magazine tries to blame all of Pinto's legal troubles on anti-Pinto stories planted in the press by 5WPR's Ronn Torossian.
Torossian was once a close follower of Pinto but broke with him, reportedly after discovering that Pinto was looting charities and committing other crimes.
New York Magazine reports that, but completely takes Pinto's line about what happened with that and with alleged extortion by Torossian and Pinto's former top aide, Ofer Biton, who has since been indicted for lying on his US visa application.
The fact is that Torossian is a nasty, vindictive and very aggressive person who is perfectly capable of smearing someone – as longtime readers of FailedMessiah.com will remember, Torossian's 5WPR infamously tried to do that here by pretending to be known critics of Agriprocessors' Sholom Rubashkin and posting highly offensive comments in their names. (See here for a long list of 5WPR misbehavior.)
And Torossian reportedly kept editing Pinto's Wikipedia page to include negative information Pinto's people otherwise excluded.
New York Magazine does report the Wikipedia editing but characterizes it as if it was an attempt to smear Pinto. It never explores whether or not any of these Torossian edits added actual negative facts about Pinto into what was otherwise hagiography.
Torossian's issues don't give New York Magazine the ethical right to print propaganda or near-propaganda, and the facts it intentionally omitted or minimized do matter.