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May 23, 2022 12:19 pm
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LeBron James Receives Blessing From Kabbalist Rabbi at Jewish Wedding

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James reacts during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, in December 2018. Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Four-time NBA champion LeBron James received a blessing from famed Kabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto at a Jewish wedding they both attended in New York City on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar and Pinto, who was appointed Morocco’s chief rabbinic judge in 2019, were guests at the nuptials of Ariella Boker and Jeffrey Schottenstein, the founder of the TACKMA clothing line and son of American Eagle chairman and CEO Jay Schottenstein. The Columbus, Ohio-based Schottenstein family has sought advice from Pinto in the past and has long been friendly with James, who was raised in the city of Akron, according to reports.

James entered the wedding venue with the Israeli-Moroccan rabbi, who founded the global organization Shuva Israel. According to a video taken at the event, Pinto gave a blessing to James, to which he and others in the group responded “amen,” before the two hugged and parted ways.

Pinto is the great-grandson of both the late Chaim Pinto, a well-respected Moroccan rabbi, and the late Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, a renowned Moroccan rabbi also known as the Baba Sali. He reportedly gave spiritual and career advice to James in the past, as well as to other high-profile figures. James also reportedly made a six-figure donation to Shuva Israel.

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In 2017, Pinto was released from prison in Israel after serving a one year term for bribery. He pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, attempted bribery, and obstruction of justice for trying to obtain information about another investigation, JTA reported.

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