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From Khan Yunis to a Jewish Wedding: Rabbi Grover in conversation with Dor Shachar

Saturday, 13 July, 2024 7 Tammuz 5784

11:00 AM - 12:00 PMBeth Tikvah


This Jewish-ethical lecture is more than a recounting—it's a riveting, deeply moving life story that will captivate you. It conveys powerful messages of love for Israel, unyielding determination, and steadfast faith in the One above.

Dor Shachar, born Ayman Abu Sobuh in 1977, was the third son of a Muslim family in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Ayman had a profound experience at the age of four. He witnessed a Jewish soldier putting on tefillin, and in that moment, he knew deep inside that he was a Jewish soul born in the wrong place.

Neither the beatings from his father and grandfather, the persecutions by neighborhood children, nor the ostracism and death threats from educators and tribal leaders could shake his conviction. Cast out by his family and forced to live in the yard's sheepfold, Ayman was derisively called "the crazy Jewish boy." At 13, unable to suppress his true identity any longer, he fled to Israel, declaring himself as the first of a new Jewish lineage. He took on the name Dor Shachar, symbolizing the dawn of a new life.

Against all odds, Dor fought like a stubborn salmon swimming upstream, driven by an indomitable spirit to convert and be accepted as a Jew in the land he always believed was his. He persevered despite being exploited by heartless employers, receiving a cold reception from the conversion authorities, and being pursued by the police. Even when, at 19, Israeli immigration officials handed him over to the Palestinian Authority, and he endured six months of brutal torture in Gaza's dark basements, his resolve never wavered. "I am a Jew with every fiber of my being," he would declare. "I was born a Jew, and I will die a proud Jew."

Thanks to countless miracles and the support of warm-hearted Jews he met along his journey, Dor is now a cherished member of the people of Israel, living in the Land of Israel. His story is an unimaginable, inspirational tale of relentless determination, told by a rare, intelligent, and amiable man. Despite his harrowing experiences, he remains a fountain of good energy, humor, love for humanity, positive thinking, and a profound faith in God.

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Fri, 19 July 2024 13 Tammuz 5784