BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A U.S.-born rabbi who was killed in Tuesday’s deadly attack in a Jerusalem synagogue worked tirelessly for Israel and its people, his grieving family in Colorado said.

Rabbi Kalman Levine, 55, had lived in Israel since his 20s, and he taught at a seminary there.

Levine was one of four people killed in the grisly attack during morning prayers. The two attackers were killed by police.

Levine’s sister, Shelley Levine of Boulder, Colorado, said her brother was so committed to studying his faith and teaching that he would sleep for only four hours at night.

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“He would do whatever he could to fulfill all the kindnesses of us as humans,” she told The Associated Press. “His essence was that he was a man of great wisdom and prayer.”

Levine’s brother-in-law, Jonathan Bein, said: “Perhaps the saving grace was that, because of his commitment to the land of Israel, commitment to being in Jerusalem, that he went the way he would have wanted to go — which is in prayer in the land of Israel, in Jerusalem.”

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Levine attended the University of Southern California, where he studied the Torah and Talmud. He left afterward for Israel. He was born Cary William Levine, and later adopted the Hebrew name Kalman.

Levine’s nephew, Raphael Bein, said his uncle once turned down a position as a posek, an arbiter or decider of Jewish law, out of fear that a bad decision could destroy somebody’s spirituality.

Levine had nine children and five grandchildren, Jonathan Bein said. “There are people, once they get there, their ethic is to never leave the land of Israel. He was one of those people,” Bein said.

– By P. Solomon Banda, AP Writer

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