In Bethlehem, a city south of Jerusalem, you may find Rachel’s Tomb. For many years, it stood by a lonesome crossroads, and Rachel’s descendants would come here to express their love to her—the mother who lives in a solitary cemetery by a road to be there for her suffering children. As she prays for them and invokes God’s promise that they would return to the Promised Land, Rachel is a constant comfort to her kids.

Why Rachel’s Tomb Is Special

Jacob and his family were not far from Bethlehem when Rachel passed away. However, he did not bring his dearest wife Rachel to be buried in that town, nor did he take her with him to Hebron; instead, he interred her on the side of the road in a remote area.


It was God’s plan. The Jews would later be expelled from their homes and sent into exile in Babylon as a result of the destruction of the First Temple in 423 BCE. They would pass this route specifically while on their dejected march and sob to Rachel. Her presence would give them confidence, and she would pray to God on their behalf.

According to the Midrash, Moses and the other patriarchs and matriarchs also pleaded for forgiveness at that time. But God stayed quiet. Then Rachel raised her voice and demanded the promise of atonement.

She argued, “O Lord of the Universe.” Think about what I did for my sister Leah. The only reason Jacob worked so hard for my father was to marry me, but when the time came for me to enter the nuptial canopy, they brought my sister in place of me. I didn’t only remain silent; I also provided her the password that Jacob and I had decided upon as a secret (which we had arranged specifically to prevent any other bride from being brought in my place).

Immediately, G-pity d’s was stirred and He said “For you, Rachel, I will bring Israel back to their place.” (See also Rachel’s Amazing Secret)

She forfeited her seat next to her husband a second time when she chose a solitary grave on the side of an empty road in Hebron over a grave in the family plot there. In order to be present for her children, who would live tens of millennia later, she took these actions.

The stereotypical Jewish mother, Rachel makes sacrifices for our safety and welfare. People still visit her grave today because of this feeling of unending affection and maternal care.

Additionally, Rachel herself was barren for a long time before being blessed with children. Particularly those who struggle with infertility make pilgrimages to her tomb to offer prayers.

Interesting Facts

Each of Jacob’s sons took a stone and placed it on Rachel’s tomb after she had been laid to rest. Then Yaakov picked up a big stone and piled it atop every other stone. The first memorial to her tomb was created in this manner. One of the justifications for the tradition of laying a stone on a grave after visiting it is due to this.

The iron lock on the tomb’s door was constructed with special keys when Sir Moses Montefiore renovated it. Laboring mothers, both Jews and Arabs, would place these keys under their mattresses since it was claimed that they helped ease the pain of difficult deliveries. Rabbi Goren, the head rabbi of Israel, appeared on the site when the tomb was freed in 1967. One of the keys was given to Rabbi Goren by an Arab who emerged from the building; it is still in the family today.

The account of how Rachel’s Tomb was rescued from the Palestinians was related by Chaim Silberstein of Arutz Sheva.

Sir Moses Montefiore created a tomb that is a duplicate of Rachel’s Tomb when his wife, Judith, passed away. It presently houses both of their graves and can be found at Ramsgate, which is in the southern region of England where they resided.

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