A unique center for Torah study in Hevron, established after the murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass by a Palestinian sniper, is creating a model of combining full-time intensive Torah study with classic Zionist ideals.

Ten month old Shalhevet Pass was murdered in her baby carriage by an Arab sniper in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood of Hevron in March 26th 2001. It was in response to Shalhevet’s murder that the residents of Hevron established the Torah Study Center, Kollel Rinat Shalhevet - in the Hevron marketplace. The marketplace is Jewish owned land that had been part of the large Jewish community of Hevron until it was taken over by Arabs after the 1929 massacre and subsequent expulsion of the remaining Jewish population. Today the Jewish community has begun to return to the Hevron marketplace with the establishment of the Kollel Rinat Shalhevet, as well as several families that have moved in.

Kollel Rinat Shalhevet boasts twenty full time students from Hevron and the Gush Etzion region, many married with families. Under the leadership of Rabbi Uzi Sharbaf, formerly a commando in an IDF Special Forces unit, students learn full time and act as the Hevron Emergency First Response Team as well. They receive regular training to handle emergency situations in the event of terror attacks in the Hevron region.

Recently a Hamas terrorist infiltrated the Tel Romeida neighborhood of Hevron, attempting a large-scale attack with an automatic assault rifle. The students immediately responded as part of the Hebron Emergency First Response Team and leapt to action. One of its members shot and killed the terrorist, saving the lives of Tel Romeida's residents.

Rabbi Sharbaf told IsraelNationalNews.com that "Being a true Torah scholar is not only about absorbing the holy words of our Torah, but internalizing them and knowing when there is a need to go out to plow, plant, and reap in our land. This fusion of the two sources of the Jewish People's strength, Torah, and the Land of Israel, results in the elevation of our Torah on behalf of the whole nation of Israel."

Michael Pollack, a student at Kollel Rinat Shalhevet told Arutz Sheva that the environment created in this kollel is ideal for the contemporary Torah scholar, combining diligence in studies with a deep involvement in the rigors of contemporary Jewish life through Jewish farming, Jewish construction, and advanced paramedic and defense training.

Sadly this center for Torah study is facing the threat of closure because of its financial situation, but Kollel Rinat Shalhevet is calling upon the public to reinforce the paradigm that it has created. “We represent an evolution of the full-time Torah study culture of Hareidi-religious society that too often creates a dichotomy between serious scholarship and physical service of the Jewish people,” says Pollack.

Elad Pass, the uncle of slain Shalhevet, requests that world Jewry help this center for Torah study continue its mission, "We invite anyone who is able to join us as partners in this special endeavor on behalf of Hevron, Israel and all the Jewish people. Please help us save Rinat Shalhevet. Let the eternal flame of Shalhevet Pass's memory continue to shine in the city of our foremothers and forefathers."

For further information and to offer assistance please contact the Rinat Shalhevet Torah Center by emailing: [email protected]