Rabbi Pinto is remembered as a man whose prayers were received in heaven in such a way that miracles resulted.
"Rabbi Haim Pinto was born in Agadir, Morocco on Tammuz 15, 5509
(July 1, 1749), on the Hilloula of Rabbi Haim Ben Attar.
He was the son of the saintly and venerated Rabbi Shlomo Pinto Zatzal, the descendant of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, known by the name of the Rif of Ein Yaakov.
Rabbi Shlomo Pinto Zatzal instructed Torah to his son, Rabbi Haim Pinto, when he was very young.
Unfortunately, Rabbi Shlomo Pinto passed away in 1761, leaving behind him an orphan barely 12 years old.
That same year (1960), an earthquake completely destroyed Agadir, and numerous Jews fled and settled in Mogador (Essaouira). Rabbi Haim Pinto was to be found among the refugees. "
Legends of Rabbi Haim Pinto
In Essaouira, Haim Pinto began to study Torah deeply and quickly won the respect of Jews in the area. At a young age, he became a "dayan" or rabbinical judge for the Jewish community of Essaouira.
During his time as a dayan, Jews and Muslims began to venerate him for his righteousness and miracles, earning him the title of Tzaddik. Legends surrounding the miracles of Rabbi Haim Pinto continue to circulate among Moroccans of all religions and Jews of all backgrounds.
These legends range from accounts of the rabbi predicting the future, to protecting people from harm. In one instance, R' Pinto predicted that a rich man would die unless he changed his ways, starting with giving more Tzedakah (charity / donations-efforts to proper causes).
The rich man refused and soon died. At his funeral, Rav Pinto implored all present to change their ways too by giving more Tzedakah. He was known to be aware if you were lying to him to the point that even if one tried to lie in his presence, the truth would be spoken.
Others say just moments after beginning to speak to him, R'Pinto knew one's entire life. Today, these legends are often associated with reinforcing Jewish values, including but not limited to Tzedakah, maintaining traditions, and respecting/doing kindness for others (Chessed)
During Rabbi Haim Pinto’s over 70 years serving as a dayan, he founded the Haim Pinto Synagogue, one of the two remaining synagogues in Essaouira to this day.
Today, R' Pinto’s legacy remains well known among Moroccan Jews, and the anniversary of his death is marked by a Yom Hiloula in his honor, complete with a heavily attended 4 day pilgrimage to his tomb in Essaouira.
Similar to honoring many other Tzadikim (righteous ones) throughout Jewish history, many believe that by continuing to honor Rabbi Haim Pinto, of righteous and blessed memory, they can merit blessings and good fortune.
Source: On This Day in Jewish History - https://twitter.com/dailyjewish