Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mother Rachel’s yartzeit

Commentaries tell us that while Leia wanted to be loved by her husband (Yakov originally wanted to marry her sister; Leia was forced upon him by her father Lavan), Rochel wanted children (she had only two).

When Yakov Avinu was on his deathbed, he asked his son, Yosef, to burry him in Eretz Yisroel. Asked very strongly. Rashi comments: he was worried that Yosef was hurt by the fact that his mother, Rochel, was burried along a road to Beis Lechem, not in a city. The medrash explains that Yakov Avinu fulfilled Rochel’s desire to be buried there. She foresaw prophetically that when Jews would be exiled, they would walk by her grave and pray at it. Her merits would then protect them and ensure their safety and eventual return to Eretz Yisroel. As this site explains:
The Navi in Yermiyahu tells us that when Bnei Yisroel were exiled to Bavel, they walked past Kever Rachel and stopped there to daven to her. He continues that all of our ancestors — Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya’akov, Sarah, Rivka, and Leah gathered before the Heavenly Throne to pray for Bnei Yisroel, but Hashem did not answer their cries. Then kol baramah neshamah, a voice was heard crying on high. It was Rachel crying for her children. Rashi tells us that [she] beseeched the Ribbono Shel Olam in this way: “Lord of the Universe! Whose mercy is greater — Yours or the mercy of a person of flesh and blood? Surely, Yours is greater. Have I not brought my rival, Leah, into my house? For all the work which Ya’akov did for my father was for my sake. When I came to enter the Chupah, Leah was put in my place. And not only did I keep silent, I gave my signs. You too — though Your children have brought Your enemy into Your house — be silent with them.”

Hashem answered, “Rachel, how beautiful you spoke for your children. Do not fear, meni koleach mi’bechi — stop your voice from crying — v’shavu m’eretz oyev — they will be returned from the land of their exile.
While Leia’s wish to be close to her husband was fulfilled, with her being burried next to Yakov Avinu, Rochel’s desire to have more children was fulfilled as well:
Rachel may have given birth to only two of Ya’akov’s sons, but throughout our history she has been referred to as “Our Mother Rachel”. Her Kever has become a place where women go to pray when they are infertile. Let us hope that our mother in Heaven will continue to pray for her children and that in her merit will be worthy of the true Geulah.
Today is Mother Rochel’s yartzeit.

(source: Mystical Paths)

I would like to use this opportunity to publicly ask Hashem for refuah sheleima for my grand-aunt, Rochel bas Golda-Rivka.

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