The Tomb of Rachel, the Biblical Matriarch of the Jewish People is located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem near Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem.
According to the Bible Jacob’s wife Rachel was buried on the way to Efrat, which is Bethlehem, and Jacob placed a pillar upon her tomb that signifies the place until today. In Hebrew it is called Kever Rachel.
Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem
Documented by Pilgrims
The site has been documented by pilgrims since the times of the Byzantine Period 324-638 C.E.
In 1841 Sir Moses Montefiore, received a permit from the Turkish Sultan to refurbish the tom site with the famous dome as we see it today. He added a vestibule with a heavy wooden door that has survived to this day.
Near the door there is a waterhole used for washing for the passerby and visitors.
People praying in front of the tomb
Bat Mitzvah Center
Rachel Imeinu or Our Mother Rachel Foundation has established a center for girls to celebrate their Bat Mizvha ceremonies when reaching the age of twelve.
The site also called in Arabic Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. It is open to the public all the time.
Rachel’s Tomb is the third holiest site in Judaism and Jews have made pilgrimages to the site since ancient times.
After the armistice with the Jordanians in 1949 it fell under Jordanian hands and they prohibited the Jews from visiting. After the Six Day War it was open again to everyone. Today it is located in the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority.
Image of Rachel's Tomb at the beginning of the 20th century
Biblical accounts and disputed location
Biblical scholars have identified two different possible
sites for Rachel’s burial place; one is north of Jerusalem near Ramah or modern
Al Ram; the other is the one mentioned above on the way to Bethlehem.
In the Book of Genesis 35:19-20 it clearly says:
“And Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Efrat which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day."
Visiting the Tomb of Rachel
The tomb is easily accessed one Km south of Jerusalem’s city limits. It requires a short drive south on the way to Bethlehem.
Let it be known that Rachel's Tomb is open and all are welcome to visit - without respect to nationality, gender, race or religion.
The Tomb is open every day, except for the Jewish Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
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2015 - 2018