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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
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Kever Rochel is a special place of tefilla as the pasuk tells us that she cries for her children —רחל מבכה על בניה. When one cries, tears (דמעה) stream forth. דמעה has a gematria of 119. דמעה two times (because she had many tears and the minimum plural is two) yields the number 238. What totals 238? None other than the numerical value of רחל.
Why is she buried in Beis Lechem, and not Chevron? Because Hashem commanded Yaakov to bury her there by the roadside so that she could help the Jewish people when Nevuzaradan would lead the Jews into captivity after the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash. When the Jews were passing along the road to Beis Lechem, tormented and exhausted, Rochel’s soul came to her grave and cried, begging for Hashem’s mercy upon them. Hashem heard her plea.
In 2010, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan, a woman named Batya traveled to Kever Rochel with some friends. Batya came to daven for children as she was already married for childless three and a half years. Exactly one year later, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan, she gave birth to a baby girl.
A 28-year-old secular unmarried girl named Miriam came to Kever Rochel. She poured her heart out crying, “Ima Rochel: You were supposed to marry Yaakov but you didn’t want your older sister, Leah, to be shamed. So you gave her the signs that you and Yaakov knew so that she would marry him instead. I, too, deeply desire to get married, but I am willing to forego that! Instead, I want you to intercede for my baalas teshuva sister, Tamar, who is married eight years without children.” Soon after, Miriam found her soul mate and became engaged while her sister was expecting a baby!
The pasuk says רחל מבכה על בניה. It doesn’t say רחל בוכה, Rochel is weeping [for her children] rather רחל מבכה. This can be understood to mean “Rochel is bringing others to tears.” You can go there and pour out your heart!
A boy named Yehuda was raised in a religious Jewish home but drifted from that path. He got a job and moved away from home. He eventually got so depressed that he decided to commit suicide. His plan was to jump from a high floor in a tall building in Tel Aviv. As he walked toward the elevator that would transport him to the high floor, he saw fliers, “The eleventh Day of Cheshvan, today, is the yahrtzeit of Rochel Imeinu. Buses from all parts of Israel will take you to the kever of Rochel Imeinu. Come talk to our mother, Rochel!” Yehuda had a change of heart and decided to travel to Kever Rochel. He arrived at the kever to daven and once inside he fainted. After they revived him, he explained what happened. While he davened at the kever, believing that he had no one in the world who cared about him, he suddenly heard a voice begging Mama Rochel to have compassion on her son, “Yehuda Menachem ben Chava.” He realized it was his mother’s voice and he felt her care. Those tears of love and longing brought Yehuda back on track until he returned to the fold.
 Yirmiya 31:14. During the Rabin administration, Kever Rochel was slated to fall under full Arab civil and military control. In response to this, Knesset Member Chanan Porat decided to speak with Rabin hoping to change his mind. As Porat was walking to Rabin’s office, Rabbi Menachem Porush who was the head of Agudah at the time asked to join in the meeting. Many years earlier, right after the Six-Day War, when we regained access to Kever Rochel Rabbi Porush had been one of the first to arrive there. He came with R’ Aryeh Levin and Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz. He marked the spot with a piece of cardboard that said: ‘Here is the Kever of Rochel’. That was when R’ Chaim Shmuelevitz famously cried “Mama, Hashem told you to stop crying – but I say Keep on crying for your children.” Now, several decades later, the two members of Knesset made strong arguments based on politics and security to preserve Jewish presence at Kever Rochel. Rabin was not convinced. Then Rabin noticed that Menachem Porush was crying. Porush held Rabin’s hands and with tears streaming down his face, said: ‘Yitzchak, it’s Mamma Rochel, Mamma Rochel.’ At that moment Rabin’s heart opened, and he altered the map so that Rochel’s Tomb would remain in Jewish hands.”
 Breishis 48:7, Rashi.
 See Megila 13b.
 This is a great place to daven for a child because Rochel Imeinu was also barren for many years.
 Yirmiya 31:14.
Author of Four Books including the recently released “Amazing Shabbos Insights”