The Red Thread + Rachel’s Tomb

learn about the matriarch rachel and her tomb

The red thread worn on the left wrist is a popular look, and one of our most popular items at Alef Bet Jewelry.

We create the red string bendel bracelets in many forms, pairing it with eye-amulets and other artistic touches so that it may bring the wearer good luck, and also make a fashionable statement.

We’re just being honest here about fashion. 

Many other designers create and sell red thread bracelets, and when you visit Israel you’ll be swarmed by vendors of this classic yet mysterious piece of Judaica.  

Many will claim that theirs are the “real deal” because the piece of scarlet wool thread they are selling has been wound around Rachel’s tomb seven times, while prayers are chanted.  

True?

Not?

Important?

Not so much?

You decide.

But, before we go into the history and story the matriarch Rachel, I recently visited her tomb on my trip to Israel.

Inside Rachel's Tomb

With the current situation in Israel, and the many past sniper attacks, the Israeli government made the tomb into a fortress.

It literally, in all sense of the word is a fortress.

The first time I went there I remember taking a city bus right up to the graveside, but now it has been totally “rebuilt.”

You drive from the main highway that leads into Bethlehem and turn off onto a truly private road that only to one place–directly to Rachel’s Tomb.

It is two gigantic walls of concrete.

Gigantic.

After driving for some distance, you then arrive at the tomb.

It appears to open up, in an eerie way, after driving so long in the security “tunnel,” and immediately you find yourself in a quiet place.

For many different reasons, people come to pray here.

More than anything, I found, in the women’s-only section for prayer is that you hear weeping.

No talking at all, but tears.

Gut-wrenching prayers and tears.

But, sometimes the celebration of a Bat Mitzvah occurs at Rachel’s Tomb, changing the tone to one of celebrating womanhood.

In case you’re wondering, here’s a little background on the reference to Rachel’s tomb.

Rachel is one of the Jewish matriarchs, and the favorite wife of patriarch Jacob.

Her tomb, known as Kever Rachel, is considered Judaism’s third holiest site and is located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. 

It is one of the oldest sacred places of prayer on earth.

The tomb resembles a cube topped by a gilded dome, and 11 stones are set on the tomb representing Jacob’s 11 sons. 

As found in the Book of Genesis 35:16-21, it tells of Rachel and how she died giving birth to Jacob’s 12th son, Benjamin, in the year 2198 (1560 BCE) at the age of 36. 

Tradition says Jacob buried her along the road instead of in the family burial cave in nearby Hebron, so that future generations of her descendants would stop and pray at her grave and be comforted.

She also is the mother of Joseph, her’s and Jacob’s first born son.

Oh, what a love story that was!  

Jacob was struck by Rachel’s beauty the first second her saw her at the watering hole.

He kissed her, and wept.

But, it took him seven years to marry her!

But, in the end they were wed.

Back to the story….

Back to Rachel.

Remember, it is one of the oldest sacred places of prayer on earth.

Jews have made the pilgrimage to her tomb for centuries.

She is felt by many to represent the physical world we live in.

Her life ended in what is perhaps that most extreme of physical experiences, a woman giving birth.

The legacy goes that Rachel desires only to protect and defend her children, and many readers of the Zohar interpret this as promising the return of her children (the Jewish people) to the Promised Land.

Women who are having trouble conceiving have historically visited Rachel’s tomb, since she really is the prototypical Jewish mother.

Thus the weeping mentioned earlier.

We’ve heard about women wishing to conceive wearing the red thread around their midsection.

True story–the first time I visited Rachel’s Tomb in 1998 with my in-laws, all of the sudden my mother in-law pulled out a spool of thread and began wrapping the red cord around the tomb seven times.

I can still hear my mother in-law whispering very loudly to my father in-law to grab the spool of thread!!

Don’t forget, the men and women have separate prayer areas, but they are connectedd by the grave itself–so they had to pass it around the tomb from one side to the other!

We brought the cord to my sister in-law and voila! 

Within a year she had a healthy, gorgeous baby boy! 

Just saying!

It couldn’t hurt.

If you’re hoping to have a baby, or simply want to surround yourself with the powerful protective energy of Rachel, intercepting negative vibes, maybe all it takes it a thin red thread.

hamsa hand worn for luck and prosperity 

Disclaimer: our red threads are not blessed from the Tomb of Rachel.

However, you are encouraged to make your own blessing when placing the red string on your wrist.

Wear in good health!

 

Mitzvah + Red String Bendel Hamsa Bracelet

Can I help you with that?

This question was posed to us in a facebook group that I am a part of for online marketing.  A simple question, nothing is expected from one another but honest help.  No fees, no self-promotion, just help.

Awesome.

Anyone can do that, helping one another with business, work, e-commerce and SEO questions, etc.  But, when we really start to think about it, no, not everyone can help with that.  We don’t all have the same skill set, the same knowledge, the same language for that matter. There really are some brilliant people out there, and the little “pishers,” like me can easily get intimidated.

 

Then, I got to thinking about what I can do to help others.  I pondered on it, and then it occurred to me: I am helping.  My company set up a campaign online for a friend who had a terrible spinal infection that led to 2 weeks in the hospital with (hopefully only) temporary paralysis in both legs.  This is not a bragging post, but a thoughtful post on what we are all capable of doing to help others.  With Alef Bet Jewelry, a little business, I was able to sell and donate 100% of the proceeds of a red string bendel bracelet with a lucky “helping hand” charm to aide in the finances for the family.  With my friend being the sole-earner, this puts his family in a very difficult situation.

A mitzvah.

This Hebrew word says it all, “a good deed.”

Do a good deed for others, it is the ultimate act of kindness one can do another.  Well, there is way more to it than just that, but the “idea” of doing random acts of kindness and being generous and helpful to others is actually found in the Torah.

If you want to read about Robert, there was a Go Fund Me set up for him.  Another mitzvah by a random person he actually didn’t know very well, that took it upon himself to set up a page to help.

Amazing what we can do to help one another.  The power we have, the way we can lift each other up.  

If you’d like to buy the red string bracelet, I will gladly donate 100% to my friend.

May his recovery be 100%. 

Hamsa lucky red string bracelet

May we continue to inspire one another, help one another, and touch each other’s lives.  And as they asked in the facebook group, “Can I help you with that?”

 

hamsa hand worn for luck and prosperity
Red string bendel bracelet