Meaning of the Red String and Rachelโ€™s Tomb


What is the connection between a red string and Rachel's Tomb?

The red string 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.

Not just about fashion.


Many other designers create and sell red string of fate bracelets, and when you visit Israel youโ€™ll be swarmed by vendors of this classic yet mysterious piece of Judaica. ย 


Many will claim that theirs are the โ€œreal dealโ€ because the piece of scarlet wool thread they are selling has been wound around Rachelโ€™s tomb seven times, while prayers are chanted. ย 

  • 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.

With the current situation in Israel, and due to 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.ย 

road to rachel tomb

The first time I went there I remember taking a city bus right up to the graveside, but now it has been totally โ€œrebuilt.โ€

You drive from the main highway that leads into Bethlehem and turn off onto a truly private road that only to one placeโ€“directly to Rachelโ€™s Tomb.

It is two gigantic walls of concrete.


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 โ€œtunnel,โ€ 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 womenโ€™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 Rachelโ€™s Tomb, changing the tone to one of celebrating womanhood.

In case youโ€™re wondering, hereโ€™s a little background on the reference to Rachelโ€™s tomb.

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

Her tomb, known as Kever Rachel, is considered Judaismโ€™s third holiest site and is located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.ย 

Itย is one ofย 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 Jacobโ€™s 11 sons.

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

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, herโ€™s and Jacobโ€™s first born son.

Oh, what a love story that was!ย ย 

Jacob was struck by Rachelโ€™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 storyโ€ฆ.

Back to Rachel.

Remember, itย is one ofย 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 Rachelโ€™s tomb, since she is the prototypical Jewish mother.

Thus the weeping mentioned earlier.

Weโ€™ve heard about women wishing to conceive wearing the red thread around their midsection.


True storyโ€“the first time I visited Rachelโ€™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!!


Donโ€™t forget, the men and women have separate prayer areas, but they are connected by the grave itselfโ€“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!ย 


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


Just saying!

It couldnโ€™t hurt.


If youโ€™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 is a thin redย string bracelet.


Do you wear a red string bracelet? Let us know!


  • Gail

    I used to wear one all the time but eventually the thread came apart in the bracelet links. Never replaced it because I am superstitious and feared it was bad luck and didnโ€™t want it to happen again ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

  • Melissa Vega

    This has always had me thinking about the red string well my boys wear a bracelet of red string.. and so, do I now I know the real meaning behind the red stringโ€ฆ
    We, will continue to wear it..
    Blessings to all..๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

  • Loyal

    Please I need a protective energy to sack away all the negative vibes

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