In Israel, rabbis and tycoons have often made headlines after getting involved in mega-business deals worth billions. Leading Israeli industrialists testify that their businesses have flourished thanks to the advice and blessings of their rabbi. And for a period of time it seemed like it was true. Today, however, these business magnates tell a different story as they have lost hundreds of millions and some have lost their businesses all together.
How is it that certain rabbis seem to have an almost mystical, spiritual influence on Israeli businessmen? Why do leading businessmen seek the attention and blessings of religious leaders with no experience in financial affairs?
When the spiritual and material meet
For ten years until 2012, business tycoon Nochi Dankner had been at the forefront of the Israeli economy. He was the majority shareholder of the IDB Group, one of Israel’s leading business conglomerates overseeing some of Israel’s largest companies.
During these years, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who was a close friend to many Israeli industrialists, recommended that Danker meet with the Orthodox...