Photo Credit:
Daniel Asore next to his airplane

Rabbi Daniel Asore went from being an officer in the Israeli Air Force to business magnate to missionary in Florida. Then he came home in every way. Today, he is using the knowledge he gained to fight the nefarious work of missionaries in Israel.

 

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Alive Through Miracles

Asore at Niagra Falls

When Daniel was only nine-and-a half years old, his father died of a heart attack, leaving his mother to raise four children. She coped by sending the kids to boarding schools. At fourteen, Daniel experienced his first miracle. Lacking the bus fare to make it home from his school in Beersheva, he decided to walk the 24 kilometers and take a short cut through the desert. It wasn’t long before he got lost and dehydrated. With the last of his strength, Daniel stumbled towards the fence of an army camp and was found late that night.

Years later, as an officer in Unit 51 of the IDF, Asore distinguished himself teaching combat, survival and street-fighting courses to pilots. His reward was a flight in a Fouga jet. The flight became unforgettable when Asore smelled burning rubber. The pilot made an emergency landing… next to the army camp where Asore’s life had been saved years earlier. The coincidence that wasn’t a coincidence got Asore thinking. “I knew that Someone was looking after me and wanted to find out more,” says Asore.

 

Change of Direction

In 1989, twenty-four-year old Asore left his home for the glitter of Queens, New York. At the same time, he left behind the few Jewish traditions he’d been raised with. With his sister recently married to Yehuda Peretz, a former priest from Vera Crux, Mexico, Asore was eager to get away from the whole Jewish religious scene. But driven by a desire to find out more about the meaning of life, Asore decided to investigate other religions. “I wanted to see if we as Jews have the entire truth or only part of it,” he says. He began his quest for truth by reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, visiting the temple of a yogi in Brooklyn and becoming a vegetarian.

But the pull of materialism proved to be too strong and the boy whose mother said he had been “a pleasure to raise,” was quickly drawn in by the lure of downtown Manhattan. Together with some other Israelis, Asore established a lucrative fashion-industry business. Higher aspirations were temporarily pushed aside.

 

A Missionary in the Making

Eager to become a flight instructor, Asore moved to Florida where he began studying for a degree in professional aviation in Broward Community College. Here, again unsettled spiritually, Asore signed up for a course in comparative religions taught by a local priest. His interest in the differences between Judaism and Christianity was further piqued when he met a former army buddy, married to a non-Jew, who invited him to attend Shabbat services at a Messianic Temple.

Asore took the next step in his search for the truth and joined a Bible study group. Shortly afterwards, he was enticed to the inner circle of the Evangelical group with an invitation to attend the weekly Bible study group targeted at all the pastors in town. A few years down the line, Asore, now a full-fledged missionary, was the success story of the Evangelical Messianic community in Cornerstone.

One day, invited to lecture about the bar mitzvah ceremony, Asore showed the congregation how to wear a tallit and tefillin. An elderly woman approached him begging for permission to hold on to the hem of his robe. Full of emotion, she raised a Bible and called out the words from Zechariah 8:23, “May this come true: It shall come to pass that ten people will grab one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’

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Rhona Lewis made aliyah more than 20 years ago from Kenya and is now living in Beit Shemesh. A writer and journalist who contributes frequently to The Jewish Press’s Olam Yehudi magazine, she divides her time between her family and her work.