The Torah of Hevron
The Torah of Hevron is something unique and according to my opinion, it has a higher level of holiness and trueness then learning Torah in other parts of the Holy Land. Of course, all Torah that we learn in Eretz Yisrael is very Holy but circumstances from Jewish History and Jewish Heritage had made the Torah of Hebron even more so. How come? We all know that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish Nation for all generations and no one can question that fact. But even with this divine knowledge Avraham our forefather decided to buy the Machpelah cave and the surrounding fields in cash from Ephron to bury his wife Sarah. This we learn in the portion of Chayei Sarah. And he even paid more than the actual value of the estate. This tells us that even though Avraham know that it belonged to him, anyway he wanted to have a written purchase contract of the transaction. This established the Jewish Nation´s settlement heritage in the Holy Land.
Importance of the Torah of Hebron
The connection between the Jewish Nation and Hevron has been there since the time of the Torah and during many time periods, the city has had major Jewish settlements and a strong Torah presence. Both Chassidic and Lithuanian Jews lived and established Torah centers during hundreds of years but after the 1929 pogrom in Hevron, we had no Jewish presence here until after the 6-day war. So, first of all we can establish the fact that Jewish settlements in Hebron are not a Zionistic fabrication, it is what the Torah asks us to do. But today, the main Jewish population in Hevron is more from the Zionistic establishment. And the Torah of Hevron is growing stronger from day to day in the Holy City of Hevron. The main Torah institution in the Heart of Hebron today is Yeshivat Shavei Hevron. This well-respected Yeshiva opened its doors in 1981 and then headed by Rabbi Moshe Bleicher. From a handful of Yeshiva students living and learning under very harsh conditions in an old and run-down building. Today the Yeshiva is a multi-floor modern building with all facilities you may need to Learn Torah and has more than 300 students learning Torah. Except for the regular student body, Shavei Hevron Kollel has 80 very dedicated married men. Many of the yeshiva’s more than 3000 alumni are working as educators and Rabbis and are influencing thousands of Jews both in Israel and abroad.
Torah of Hevron and Hesder
Most of the students learning in Shavei Hevron also want to do active army service, therefor the Yeshiva offers a Hesder program where the yeshiva students combine full-time yeshiva studies and active army service. A Regular Hesder Program is 5 years long. It includes about 18 months of active army service and the rest of the time full-time Torah learning in Yeshiva. And thank God for the students in Shavei Hevron are bringing with them the true and powerful Torah of Hevron into the army and this inspires and raises the moral and ethics many times when harsh conditions and extraordinary challenges are facing them. But someone who is able to live and learn Torah in Hevron with all its challenges, also have the tools to overcome obstacles that for many people would nearly be impossible.
Celebrations and Events in Hevron
During the year many great events are taking place in the Holy City of Hevron. The biggest and most famous event is probably the Parasha of Chayei Sarah. In this Torah portion as we know Avraham bought the cave and the fields around it as a burial place for his wife Sarah. Each year 10th of thousands of Jews from across the globe (even chartered flights) arrive in Hevron to celebrate this occasion. Most people staying in Hebron during Shabbos are doing it under harsh conditions. If you are lucky you may have a tent. But the importance of this historical Jewish heritage event is so much greater than the comfort for the person itself. Also, during Chol HaMoed Pesach and Chol HaMoed Succot, the Hebron Fund arranges major happenings that attract hundreds of thousands of Jews from across the country. You will find every kind of observant Jews. From modern Orthodox to real traditional Chassidim with the traditional clothing. This really shows us that Hevron and the Torah of Hevron are for every Jew.