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Jared Kushner and the White-Haired Mystic Whose Dad ‘Got a Ride’ From a Dead Sage

PHOTO: Youtube

By Josh Nathan-Kazis | 29 January 2017

FORWARD — Jared Kushner’s family charities have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a mystical Moroccan rabbi who some followers claim has miraculous powers.

The rabbi, David Chananya Pinto, is little known in the United States but has a coterie of wealthy backers. Two separate Kushner family foundations on whose boards Jared Kushner serves have given over $210,000 in grants to Pinto’s New York City study center.

It’s hard to square Donald Trump’s clean-cut, Modern Orthodox son-in-law with the white-bearded mystic who tells a story about a night in 1968 when his father got a ride from a second-century sage driving an Israeli-made station wagon.

Yet Kushner has shown an interest in Judaism’s mystical corners.

Rabbi David Pinto.
Rabbi David Pinto on YouTube

Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, plan to attend a Washington synagogue affiliated with the Chabad Hasidic group, a movement rooted in Jewish mysticism. And days before the presidential election, the couple visited the grave of the group’s former leader, where believers say prayers may be answered with miracles.

A spokesperson for Kushner would not comment on the foundations’ donations to Pinto’s charity. Pinto’s New York study center, Chevrat Pinto, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Kushner family are Modern Orthodox stalwarts, founders of a Modern Orthodox high school in New Jersey and members of Modern Orthodox synagogues. But while Modern Orthodox theology de-emphasizes the folk magic and mysticism found in some corners of Jewish tradition, magical beliefs have grown popular among rank-and-file Modern Orthodox Jews. […]

2 Comments on Jared Kushner and the White-Haired Mystic Whose Dad ‘Got a Ride’ From a Dead Sage

  1. PUTIN, TRUMP & THE CHABAD JEWISH SECT

    The Odd Chabad Connection Between Putin and Trump
    by Martin Longman
    November 27, 2017
    Political Animal
    Алексей М/Flickr

    Three days before the presidential election, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump visited the Queens gravesite of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and, according to The Times of Israel, they prayed for Donald Trump’s victory.

    Schneerson, who died in 1994, is an interesting character. Although he never claimed it himself, some of his followers consider him the Messiah, and others believe he is still alive.

    Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known to many as the Rebbe, was a Russian Empire-born American Orthodox Jewish rabbi, and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.

    As leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, he took an insular Hasidic group that almost came to an end with the Holocaust and transformed it into one of the most influential movements in world Jewry, with an international network of over 3,000 educational and social centers. The institutions he established include kindergartens, schools, drug-rehabilitation centers, care-homes for the disabled and synagogues.

    The Kushner family is Modern Orthodox, and of course Ivanka converted to Judaism prior to her marriage to Jared. Still, according to Ben Schreckinger of Politico Magazine, Kushner was affiliated with the Chabad house at Harvard when he was a student there. Since settling in DC, the couple has reportedly been attending services at a Chabad synagogue.
    What Jared and Ivanka want to do in their spiritual lives is their business, and I have no intention of casting any aspersions on the Chabad-Lubavitch movement or Rabbi Schneerson. I do however want to explore some things that may circle back to this pre-election pilgrimage to Schneerson’s grave.

    Let’s begin here:
    Starting in 1999, [Vladimir] Putin enlisted two of his closest confidants, the oligarchs Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich, who would go on to become Chabad’s biggest patrons worldwide, to create the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as “Putin’s rabbi.”

    There’s a good chance that if you know of Roman Abramovich, you know him as the owner of the Chelsea Football Club of the English Premier League. You may not know that he was a victor (along with Paul Manafort’s patron Oleg Deripaska) in the bloody aluminum wars of the 1990s, or that he was reportedly the person who convinced Boris Yeltsin that Putin would be a proper successor. You probably are not aware that Ivanka Trump is very close friends with Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova, with whom she recently attended the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens. Zhukova reportedly attended the inauguration as Ivanka’s personal guest.

    It takes a little more doing to understand the Trump family’s connections to Lev Leviev. To begin with, we need to go back to Bayrock, the company that Donald Trump teamed up with to build his Trump Soho project. There were three main actors in that enterprise. One was convicted mob associate and murky FBI informant Felix Sater. Another was Tevfik Arif, a shady man with likely Russian intelligence connections who was once was arrested by the Turks on Mustafa Kamal Ataturk’s yacht and “charged with running an international underage prostitution ring.” The third was the late Tamir Sapir, another man with ties to Russian intelligence. If you’re interested in this aspect of the story, I refer you to my Trump’s Soho Project, the Mob, and Russian Intelligence article and also Mike Lofgren’s piece: Mobbed Up, both written in late February.

    Interestingly, all these men have connections to the Chabad movement. Felix Sater was honored as Man of the Year in 2014 by the Port Washington Chabad house. The same Chabad house’s website lists Tevfik Arif, who is not Jewish, “among its top 13 benefactors.”
    But it’s Tamir Sapir who links Trump back directly to Lev Leviev.
    Pay close attention to this:

    …the late billionaire Tamir Sapir, was born in the Soviet state of Georgia and arrived in 1976 in New York, where he opened an electronics store in the Flatiron district that, according to the New York Times, catered largely to KGB agents.

    GOOGLE REST OF ARTICLE

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