Located just south of Jerusalem, at the entrance to the city of Bethlehem, lies the matriarch Rachel’s tomb. In the Bible it states: “Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day” (Genesis 35:19-20).
Recognizing the holiness of this place, Jews have been flocking to visit and pray at Rachel’s grave for thousands of years. In more modern times, in 1841, Sir Moses Montefiore renovated Rachel’s Tomb by adding a dome and expanding the structure into that which stands until today. It is customary among many Jews to visit the grave especially on the anniversary of Rachel’s death.