Religious Sites Bethlehem
Rachel’s Tomb Bethlehem
Rachel’s Tomb is situated at the entrance of Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem. The tomb is a shrine that marks the burial site of Rachel, the wife of Jacob. It is venerated by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. The Jews honor Rachel’s Tomb as among their holiest sites which also include the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It has become a significant place for Jewish pilgrimage most especially for married women who have difficulty conceiving.
Biblical accounts state that Rachel died after she gave birth to her second son Benjamin. She was then buried on the road to Bethlehem. Jacob erected a pillar over the tomb to mark her grave. The tomb has had several renovations over the years. During the time of the Crusaders, a dome secured by 12 arches was constructed over the tomb. The present structure was built in 1620 and has undergone several restorations since then. In 1841, a section was added for Jewish worship.
During the 1990s, as the security situation around the area worsened, the domed structure was secured and walled inside a building. At present, the large tomb is covered by a velvet cloak. To date, the tomb still retains its nurturing and motherly presence as men and women from different parts of the world gather and visit the monument to speak out in silence all their troubles and pains.
Accessible to handicapped and senior guests
Rachel’s Tomb is open daily from Sunday to Friday at 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
It is closed to visitors during the Jewish Sabbath and Jewish holidays.