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Torah Portion


Home > Torah Portion > Vayishlach



Torah Portion: Vayishlach
Genesis 32:4-36:43

RACHEL DIED AND WAS BURIED ON THE ROAD TO EFRAT, NOW KNOWN AS BETHLEHEM. (GENESIS 35:19)

Rachel. One of the four Jewish Matriarchs.

Great women who were the spiritual mothers of the Jewish People.

Who created and inspired a nation that brought ethics, morality and G-dliness to the world.

... Her tomb has held a very special place in Jewish hearts for thousands of years.

In fact, over the centuries, many Jewish homes have had a picture of Rachel's Tomb hanging on the wall.

And whenever possible Jews went there to pray.

And to be inspired.

... The Talmud tells us something fascinating about Rachel's Tomb.

About why Jacob chose to her bury right there.

On the side of the road.

It's a beautiful tradition. One that Jewish men and women throughout the ages learned as children.

... That Jacob did it with an eye to the future.

When the Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. And the Jews exiled.

... And as they left Jerusalem, with their spirits broken, they would pass Rachel's Tomb.

And Rachel's memory would inspire them.

... They would pray for the Jewish future.

And Rachel would pray for her children.

... As Jews all over the world read on Rosh Hashana, from the Prophet Jeremiah:

"Rachel cries for her children and refuses to be comforted ..."

... She cries over our suffering throughout the difficult times.

And she also cries for what happens to us during the better times.

When the exile seems to treat us well.

When Jews are accepted in society.

And given almost unlimited opportunities.

But unfortunately that comes with a price.

... The risk of a lessening of Jewish knowledge. Involvement. And pride.

It's something to think about. As we read about Rachel.

What better time for each of us to take the next step in our Jewish growth?

To see what we can do that will help us - and our children - become more committed Jews.

... We should do it for the Jewish People.

For ourselves.

And for Rachel. Our mother.












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