Here are some thoughts about Rachel.
One of the four Matriarchs. The spiritual mothers of the Jewish people.
Together with Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah.
Her story is sad.
For many years she had no children.
Finally, she gives birth to Joseph. (Genesis, 30:22)
And then to Benjamin.
But she dies in childbirth. (35:16-20)
… But Rachel achieved what very few people do.
Not only did she help create a nation that gave so much to the world.
But she is remembered thousands of years later!
And she has always inspired the Jewish People.
Her tomb has a special place in Jewish hearts until today.
For centuries many Jewish homes have had a picture of “Rachel’s Tomb” on the wall.
And whenever possible Jews went there to pray.
Men. Women. Great Rabbis!
They would go their “mother’s” grave!
And pray for their own needs.
Or for the future of the Jewish People.
And they didn’t know if the answer to their prayers would be yes.
But they left inspired!
… And Jewish tradition says that Rachel prays for her children.
She cries over our suffering in difficult times.
And she cries for what sometimes happens to us in better times.
When we’re treated well.
And given almost unlimited opportunities.
Freedom often comes with a price.
Assimilation. Less Jewish knowledge. And Jewish identity.
… It’s something to think about as we read about Rachel.
What a great time to take a step in our Jewish growth.
… Think about a little girl that takes her first steps.
The mother gets on the phone. Calls her mother. Her grandmother. Her aunt.
Whoever will listen!
“I’m so excited. She started walking!”
… We’re told that in heaven it goes the other way around.
When we take a small step to grow Jewishly?
Whether its lighting Shabbat candles. Trying harder to avoid gossip.
Or asking Rabbi Katz to suggest a small step!
Our Bubbies and Zaydies (grandparents) are thrilled.
They get all excited.
And they cry out, “That’s my grandchild. I knew they could do it!”
… So we should do it for them.
And we should do it for Rachel.
All the best,