Monday, June 11, 2012

Israel's Rich Rabbis


The "Failed Messiah" mentions a very interesting subject which has been bothering me for a long time. I am in the middle of planning so many different topics to write about and research seems to be endless. Not enough for one life - time and I am not getting any younger. Unfortunately.:-)

One of the readers mentioned the "Failed Messiah" article in a comment and I would like to respond this way: First of all, it is not a secret that various Rabbis / chassid Rebbes are tremendously rich. I just have one question: I would like to know where the "Failed Messiah" got his figures from.

It is known that the Gerrer Rebbe is one of the richest people in Israel. When he arrived in Israel (then Palestine), he actually was poor but suddenly became rich. As far as I know, the most common explanation for the Rebbe's sudden wealth is real - estate. The truth is that nobody really knows but the Rebbe himself. But mentioning this, I don't intend giving more food to the "Failed Messiah". 

The Belzer Rebbe is rich too, and I assume that lots of his wealth comes from the diamond business in Antwerp or elsewhere. On the other hand, never forget that those Rebbes also invest a lot in their communities. Zedakah within chassidic communities is an important matter. So, we cannot only concentrate on the negative side but have to consider the positive side as well.

Personally I don't care how much money the Gerrer or Belzer Rebbe or any other Rebbe has. What does bother me is that various Sephardic Rabbis travel around, creep around Israeli politicians and famous business people and let them donate. I am, in particular, referring to Rabbi Pinto. I have been collecting a lot of material about him and some Shearim readers were so kind to contribute information. Rabbi Pinto is one of the keyfigures in using religion in order to lead a Hollywood - like lifestyle. It has become a custom that, a few days before Rosh Hashana, he takes a whole bunch of Israeli celebrities (including local pop stars) to the Kever of Rabbi Nachman miBreslov. The Israeli media likes to make a big fuss about the Rabbi and his celebrity club but I am always asking myself how much money he is getting out of this.

There is no doubt that there are rich Rabbis. Some may have earned their wealth by working hard and others by pretending to be someone they are actually not. But, as I mentioned before, never forget to look at the positive side when chassidic Rebbes invest in their communities.


  1. The source is Forbes

  2. B"H

    I wonder how FORBES knows because I am, more or less, convinced that the Rabbis would keep those figures as their top secret.:-)

    However, I am surprised that the Abuchazeiras are richer than the Gerrer Rebbi.:-)))

    Amnon Yitzchak ? No, surprise, as he has discovered Switzerland as a new source of donations. Swiss Jews have money and many Sephardi Rabbis, despite their lack of English and German, have discovered the country as a cash cow. The same, by the way, with Rabbi Shalom Arush.

  3. The Gerrer Rebbe's father, later known as the "Lev Simchah", arrived in the 1920's in Israel and worked as the Carmel winery's sole sales represantative to Poland. Being that Ger was by far the biggest Chassidic group in Poland, with literally hundreds of thousands of Chassidim, he made excellent profits and invested his money in land all over Israel at a relatively cheap price. This is the source of the current Gerrer Rebbe's wealth.
    BTW it should be noted, that contrary to Zionist propaganda, the Gerrer Rebbe massively supported emigration to Israel before the shoah.