Rachel Weeping for her Children

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This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” -Jeremiah 31:15

In the Torah portion for this week, Vayishlach, Jacob returns home to Canaan with his family.  His beloved wife Rachel, for whom motherhood is her greatest hope, joy and dream, gives birth to a son, Benjamin, and tragically dies as her labor ends.

She is buried by her grief-stricken husband, Jacob, on the road to Bethlehem, with just a marker to indicate her grave.

Since that time to this day, the Jewish tradition views Rachel as the ultimate Mother, sacrificing her life in order to bring forth life.  It is Rachel who, to this day, weeps over the death and suffering of children.

Whatever you may think of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, of Eric Garner, of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, I have no doubt that Mother Rachel is weeping for her children on this day.

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