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Morocco’s Most Influential Rabbi: Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto




According to a media survey organized in Morocco, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto ranks as the most powerful authority in the Moroccan Jewish community.  He is the only rabbi to reach the top of the list of influential Moroccan Jewish personalities.

Rabbi Pinto emphasizes that the day of the announcement of normalization between Morocco and Israel is a blessed day, especially because it coincided with the lighting of the first candles of Hanukkah, a blessed celebration for all Jews around the world. He explained that it is thanks to Sultan Mohammed V that Moroccan Jews escaped the Holocaust because he refused to hand them over to Nazi forces during World War II, declaring that they are Moroccan citizens just like the Muslims of the Kingdom.

The famous rabbi said that there has been 2500 years of cultural coexistence and religious tolerance between Muslims and Jews in the Kingdom, the land that witnessed the birth of several rabbis respected by the Jewish people. Rabbi Pinto also mentioned that Moroccan Jews living in Morocco lack nothing and live in good conditions, thanks to the attention given to them by HM King Mohammed VI, for whom he prays during the religious lesson. He prays that the God almighty bless HM King Mohammed VI, grant him a long life, and assist him in the sovereignty of this stable and secure Kingdom thanks to the wisdom of His Majesty.

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto is descended from an exceptional line of rabbis, known for generations for their ability to bring virtuosos, sometimes reaching the limits of the miracle. His paternal grandfather was Chief Rabbi Haim Pinto, who was born in Morocco. Jews from all over the world make the pilgrimage to his grave during the seasons of the Hiloula, seeking his blessing. 

He was a pioneer in settling the Promised Land and went on to become the chief rabbi of Sephardic Jews. Today, his grave is a revered religious shrine for Jews in Israel. Rabbi Pinto inherited the wisdom and insight of Torah teachings from his grandparents, and despite his youth, has become a spiritual guide and religious reference for many personalities and celebrities from various fields. His advice and wisdom are highly sought after, and he never fails to help needy Jews around the world through his organization, Shuva Israel, which focuses on charitable works and teaching the Jewish religion.

Despite being ranked as one of the wealthiest clergymen in Israel, Rabbi Pinto lives by the motto of asceticism and humility. His homes in Ashdod, Israel, New York, United States, Rabat, Casablanca, and Marrakesh, Morocco, are always open to disciples, the needy, and those who wish to listen to his sermons, which he delivers for long hours, sometimes late into the night, despite his fatigue and the dreaded disease of cancer.

Rabbi Pinto is not just a religious leader but a visionary who is reimagining rituals, reinventing institutions, mobilizing social activism, and energizing scholarship. His nomination on the list of the most influential Moroccan-Jewish personalities shaping the future is a testament to his selfless dedication as a listener, teacher, connector, and galvanizer in the Jewish community.

Richard is a Post-Graduate in Mass Communication who is acquainted with the dos and don’ts of ethical journalism and news writing techniques. He is also a contributor to the World news section at USA Reformer.

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