Why Rachel's Tomb Occupies So Remarkable a Place in the Physical and Spiritual Geography of Judaism

The Tomb has become a shrine for thousands of pilgrims, just as Rachel herself has become the religion’s ultimate matriarch. Why?

Rachel’s Tomb in 1900. Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Rachel’s Tomb in 1900. Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Observation
Dec. 13 2019
About the author

Sarah Rindner teaches English literature at Lander College in New York and blogs at Book of Books.


In 1995, when the Oslo process was in full swing, then-Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin was planning to hand over several West Bank cities to the Palestinian Authority. Among them was Bethlehem, where the site venerated by Jews as the tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel is located.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: Hebrew Bible, Israel & Zionism, Matriarchs, Rachel, Religion & Holidays