About ten thousand people participated in the largest Selichot event this year that took place at the Menorah Mivtachim Hall in Tel Aviv, led by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto and his son and successor, Rabbi Yoel Moshe Pinto.
The event was celebrating the completion of thousands of Books of Zohar that were studied in different tracks as part of the daily Zohar study spearheaded by Rabbi Pinto. Thousands of participants finished the second cycle of studying the Zohar and in the coming days will begin the third cycle.
The climax of the evening was when Rabbi Pinto entered the hall together with his son Rabbi Yoel Pinto. Thousands sang a long time in his honor and the joy could be palpably felt.
The participants also celebrated 30 years of Shuva Israel’s Torah and Charity empire. It began in a small shack in Kiryat Malachi and is now spread around the world with close to one hundred branches and yeshivas that serve as centers of Torah, charity and loving-kindness.
Rabbi Pinto moved the audience when he related what he had been through in the last two months, including undergoing two complex surgeries. "In these difficult moments, the dedication of each and every one of you who came here to spread more Torah and good deeds stood before my eyes," he said. "Your devotion is what gave me the strength to survive the agony and suffering."
The event was treated to renditions by the famed Jewish singers Mordechai ben David and Yishai Rivo who thrilled the crowd with High Holiday songs and tunes, along with a large male choir and other singers.
At the event, Rabbi Pinto offered a special prayer for the healing of the many injured in the earthquake in Morocco, and his brother Rabbi Menachem Pinto recited the blessing "Who gives salvation to kings." This unique and rare prayer was recited as a blessing for the King of Morocco and his family.
At the end of the event, the thousands of participants recited Selichot. Rabbi Pinto stood in front of the Holy Ark and inspired the audience with his recital of piyuttim and blowing the shofar.
Watch the documentation of the event:
This article was written in cooperation with Shuva Israel