Politicians Seeking Blessings Flock to 'X-Ray Rabbi'

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Ifergan, of Netivot, is well-connected to the Israeli elite.

The office of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Ifergan, known as "the X-Ray Rabbi," has been flooded for the past month by telephone calls and the visits of politicians seeking blessings from the man with supposedly superhuman insight. Some even go further, asking the rabbi for explicit political support.

Ifergan's Netivot Shalom list won four seats in the Netivot city council elections, despite the fact that many of Israel's leading rabbis denigrated the rabbi and those who dared to vote for him.

Ifergan is well-connected to the Israeli elite. His friends include businessman Nochi Dankner, who traveled to Netivot several times ahead of the election to offer his support. Politicians from virtually every party are asking to meet with the rabbi ahead of their respective primary elections.

Netivot residents are no strangers to political visitors, who seem to flock to the city ahead of every election. Sources close to Ifergan said the phone had been ringing off the hook with calls from Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim, Negev and Galilee Development Minister Jacob Edery and Environment Minister Gideon Ezra, to name a few.