Gamliel Asher:
Lion's Heart

May 24, 1965 - May 3, 2004

By Eitan Shishkoff

Gamliel Asher has been released from his cancer-ridden body. Beloved friend, spiritual son, energetic protégé and intimate partner in the Tents of Mercy saga for the past 10 years, Gamliel poured out his life for me and for our congregations. He has left behind an exceptional wife, Talia, who stood with him as a pillar of love and strength since they were married in February, 1994, and his eight year old son, Daniel, who will miss the papa he so resembles.

One of the greatest privileges of my life was to be a spiritual father to Gamliel. We met while Gamliel and Talia were new immigrants to Israel. Drinking large cups of tea in their small apartment in Nahariya, Israel's northernmost coastal town, I began to comprehend that this man was a rare piece of God's workmanship. The grandson of Holocaust survivors in Hungary, Gamliel was was no stranger to hardship. His village childhood in a virtually fatherless home forged a man who did not back down from challenges.

A university student at 16, he later mastered Hebrew sufficiently within one year of arriving in Israel to begin teaching in a private high school. He was a pioneer, a spiritual warrior, a modern day hero of the faith. The intersection of Torah and New Covenant delighted him, spurring him to study both traditional Jewish sources and the power gifts of God's Spirit. His lightening fast mind and warm heart made him an avid communicator who delighted in intelligent humor, often pointing to the ironies of new life in an ancient land.

Gamliel had a dream. That dream was to see the city of Akko (at the top of the Haifa Bay) and the northern coast, brought under the merciful rule of the God of Israel. This region was granted to the tribe of Asher, one of Jacob's 12 sons. But Asher never conquered the territory. It remained pagan, steeped in hideous idolatry. Gamliel so identified with this needy, unreached area that he chose the family name "Asher." He was dedicated to the revival of all Israel through faith in Yeshua. He held nothing back, devoting himself to intercession, counseling, teaching --- patiently serving Israel's returning exiles and native sons alike.

The Lord granted me the unforgettable privilege of being at Gamliel's side in his last moments on earth. I told him how much I loved him, how grateful I was to know him, to walk with him here, in Eretz Yisrael. I told him that in giving his all he had found everlasting favor in his Father's arms. I said, "You are a true and faithful son. You have permanently changed many lives by being the man you are. God is well-pleased with you."

May we all live as Gamliel did. He was almost 39. Earth life is short, even at its longest. But the impact of Gamliel's life and death will not fade. God was so much his source! Only that which finds its source and ultimate purpose in God will endure. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

By Eitan Shishkoff


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21:06 25Jun04 Judith Grominger -
Excellent. Though I was not privileged to become acquainted with Gamliel, through this euolgy, I felt as though I had known him.