Israel Forever

For the week ending 22 December 2007 / 13 Tevet 5768

The Weeping of Rachel

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
As he approached the end of his days on earth, the Patriarch Yaakov implored his son Yosef to ensure that he be buried in the tomb of his ancestors in Eretz Yisrael. Sensitive to the fact that he did not do the same for Yosef's mother, Rachel, Yaakov explained that he was Divinely commanded to bury her where he did.

Rachel's tomb was located on the route upon which the Babylonian conqueror Nevuzradan would lead his Jewish captives to Babylonian exile. Rachel then came up from her grave to tearfully plead for Heavenly mercy. Her prayers were answered in the prophecy "Your children will return to their Land."

Our ancestors did indeed return to Eretz Yisrael from Babylonian exile, and they will certainly return from their current exile. As we study this week's Torah portion which records this promise we gain confidence in Israel forever.

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