Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

Around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Sights

Rachel's Tomb

  • Rte. 60
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Updated 05/29/2013

Fodor's Review

This Israeli enclave in a Palestinian area is on the right shortly after passing through the border. The Bible relates that the matriarch Rachel, second and favorite wife of Jacob, died in childbirth on the outskirts of Bethlehem, "and Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave" (Genesis 35:19–20). There is no trace of that pillar, but observant Jews for centuries have hallowed the velvet-draped cenotaph inside the building as the site of Rachel's tomb. People come to pray

here for good health, fertility, and a safe birth. Some pilgrims wind a red thread seven times around the tomb, and give away snippets of it as talismans to cure all ills.

Islam as well venerates Rachel. Next to the tomb is a Muslim cemetery, reflecting the Middle Eastern tradition that it is a special privilege to be buried near a great personage. Note that men and women are segregated here and have different entrances. Egged Bus 163 runs from Jerusalem to the tomb. The site is surrounded by a concrete barrier, so for access from Bethlehem you must return to Jerusalem.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

Rte. 60, Bethlehem, Israel

Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Sun.–Wed., 12:30 am–10:30 pm, Thurs. 24 hrs., Fri. midnight–sunset; Sat. opens after nightfall

Updated 05/29/2013

Advertisement

What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

Advertisement