Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Visiting Kever Rochel

Today is the yaretzheit of Rochel Imaynu.  Those who sent prayer requests, they were delivered right after the start of the yaretzheit last night.  In the merit of Rochel Imaynu, may Hashem open the gates of Heaven to your tefilot!

While we didn’t make a video this year, here’s a video from our yaretzheit visit in the past.  For those who don’t know what they’re seeing…

Kever Rochel, the tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel the wife of Jacob, is located a short distance inside Beit Lechem – Bethlehem (as the modern city has expanded outwards and engulfed the kever).  As terror attempts against the holy site began increasing a decade ago, the Israeli government rebuilt the kever building by surrounding the ancient building (the ancient building around the kever was at least 700 years old) with a minature fortress like structure that would protect the visitors and be easily defended.

As terror attempts continued, albeit with less chance of success, the Israeli government decided to prevent conflict by walling off an access road to the kever.  They took a small side road (not the main Bethlehem road that the kever faced) and built 75 foot concrete walls along the road, around the kever and around a side parking lot.  They topped the wall with fencing, barbed wire, cameras, lights, and guard posts.

Since building the fortress and wall the only conflicts have been with international reporters decrying the inconvenience to the Arab residents of the northern corner of Bethlehem on the other side of the wall.

The kever is now considered a safe site and can be visited by personal car (though not on the yaretzheit, where the crush of visitors is managed by bus).  It’s open and guarded daily until 11:00 PM.

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