Love of the Land - Beit Lechem (Bethlehem)
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
BEIT LECHEM (BETHLEHEM)
"Rachel died and was buried on the way to Efrat, which is Bethlehem. And Yaakov placed a monument on her grave which is the monument of Rachel's grave unto this day." (Bereishis 35:19)
Although Beit Lechem achieved fame in later years as the birthplace and early home of King David, it is principally associated with the Tomb of Rachel.
Our Sages tell us that Yaakov buried her there on Divine orders so that when Nevuzradan, the Babylonian conqueror of Eretz Yisrael, would lead her children into exile past her tomb, Mother Rachel would rise from her grave to pray to Heaven for their return.
Bethlehem is today populated exclusively by Arabs,
but the Tomb of Rachel continues to attract Jews from all over
the world who revere it as a prayer site second only to the Cave
of the Machpela in Hebron.
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Production: Eli Ballon
HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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