Celebrity rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto is to be released from Nitzan Prison in the central Israeli city of Ramle on Sunday, three months before the end of his term.
A prisons release committee stresses that the rabbi’s ill health — he has cancer — is the primary reason for accepting his appeal to be freed early.
Pinto told the committee, “I feel like a criminal… I’m not a rabbi anymore… I exploited my position…. I feel regrets and am ashamed at myself… I want to repent,” Israel TV’s Amotz Shapira tweets.
The rabbi, who enjoys an international following among celebrities and business leaders, as well as high-powered contacts in the Israeli government and elsewhere, was sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of NIS 1 million ($260,000) for bribing a police officer.
— Sue Surkes