27th of Av, 5774
Parashat Re'eh


Rachel

רָחֵל

Rachel
Quick Facts
Father Laban
Mother Unknown
Husband Jacob
Sons Benjamin
  Joseph

Rachel was the second daughter of Laban, Rebekah’s brother. Rachel lived in Haran and worked as a shepherdess.

After Leah had seven children, Rachel finally conceived. She named her son Joseph, noting that HaShem “has taken away (in Hebrew asaph) my disgrace” and praying that God would “add (yoseph) another son for me”

After Joseph was born, Jacob told Rachel and Leah that God had commanded him to return to his homeland of Canaan. They responded that he should do what God told him and they would follow. Jacob prepared to leave and, while Laban was out shearing sheep, Rachel stole Laban’s idols without Jacob’s knowledge. Laban discovered that Jacob was gone and chased after him, he blamed Jacob for stealing his idols. Laban searched the tents of Jacob and his wives, but Rachel hid the idols in a camel cushion and Laban could not find them.

Rachel Family Tree

According to Midrash, Rachel died on the eleventh day of Heshvan. Jacob buried Rachel on the road to Efrat, just outside Bethlehem so that the Jews would pass her grave as they travelled into exile and she would be able to pray for them. Rachel’s Tomb, located between Bethlehem and the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, is visited by tens of thousands of Jewish visitors each year.