Dror Pirus was raised in Israel in a traditional family that respected Jewish customs, but was not particularly observant. At a young age, he began to study Ling-Shu, a form of Kung-Fu martial arts. As he grew older, he advanced in the field and participated in tournaments and competitions. After a period of intense training, he was granted an instructor’s certificate.
As an experienced Kung-Fu instructor, and well-versed in its methods of inflicting injury on the human body, Dror felt that he should also know how to repair the damage, so he began to study natural healing. He was successful in this area as well, and began to seek out opportunities for advancement. There was a particular breathing technique that interested him. His instructor in Israel told him that to learn this technique he would have to travel to Tibet and study under experienced practitioners.
Traveling to Tibet was out of the question for Dror, as the Chinese government placed many obstacles in the path of foreigners who attempted to travel to the region. However, he found out that there was a reputable teacher of the method who lived in exile in Dramsallah, India.
Dror traveled to India, and discovered that the teacher he was seeking was a recluse who lived in the mountains and was reluctant to teach this method to students, even native Tibetans. Dror, however, would not be deterred. He found his way to the hut of the Tibetan master and asked to learn the method. At first, the recluse refused, but Dror would not give up. Finally, he said that he would agree to take on Dror as a student, but only if he would agree to stay for three years, and also be initiated into his religion.
At this, Dror balked. Although his family had never been overly religious, this was a line he could not cross. Despite the great effort he had gone through to find this teacher, he left abruptly and made his way down the mountain, back to civilization.
As soon as he completed his descent from the mountain, the first people that he met were a pair of Chabad Chassidim! He was absolutely stunned, as he had no idea that there was a Jewish presence in India. The two young men were Rabbi Dror Shaul and Rabbi Mendy Crombie (today the Rebbe’s emissary in Sri Lanka).
They were most pleasant, and after he gave them some directions, they went their separate ways. A few days later, Dror saw a Hebrew notice with the words “A Healing Breath of Fresh Air According to Kabbala.” Dror was overwhelmed. That is exactly what he wanted to learn from the Tibetan monk.
Dror asked himself, “How I can really ask to learn Tibetan wisdom before checking out Jewish wisdom?” He decided to attend the Torah class conducted by Rabbi Dror Saul. The gathering was highlighted by the singing of Chabad niggunim, and he felt good about himself – far better than what he felt with the Tibetan wisdom.
The uncertain Dror remained at the Chabad House for several weeks in the company of his Chabad friends. In the meantime, two more Israeli youths joined the group.
One day, Dror decided that if he had come all this way to the East, he had to learn something about martial arts – and he traveled to Thailand, en route to China. In Thailand, Dror made contact with Chabad and began to make serious strides in his Judaism. He found out about a program of instruction in martial arts, but dropped it when he found out it would be conducted in a monastery—strictly forbidden to enter, according to Jewish law.
While in Thailand, Dror was traveling with a heavy motorcycle at a speed exceeding seventy-five miles per hour, without a helmet. When he saw the end of the Highway approaching, he made a sudden stop and jetted forward for a considerable distance.
Dror had only one thought at that moment he flipped out of control, “What will G-d stand to benefit if I die now just as I’m starting to come back to my Jewish roots?”
After the final tumble, he lay on the ground for several long minutes, then got up slowly, and discovered to his great astonishment, and the astonishment of his companion who was traveling right behind him, that apart from a few minor scratches, he had escaped without injury.
After that revealed miracle, Dror Pirus decided to return to Israel, leaving everything behind to start a deep and intense look into the true meaning of life.
In the meantime, the two young men who had been with him in Dramsalla had also returned to Judaism, and they came to learn at the Chabad yeshiva in Ramat Aviv, headed by Rabbi Yosef Ginsburgh. Dror eventually joined them, and his studies in Yeshiva designed his path in Chassidic life and developed his feeling for the Rebbe’s mission. Today Dror continues his work in martial arts, healing and education, but all in the spirit of Judaism and Chassidism.