Hilula of Rachel Himeinu

General Discussion

Tonight Monday November 3 2014 is the 11th day of Cheshvan. This is the both the birthday of Benjamin - Leader of the Tribe Ben Yaacov the Patriarch and the Hilula of his mother Rachel Imeinu. His mother died in child birth.

Hilula is a Hebrew word that translates as Day of Joy. It is the day that a Tzadik or Tzadeket leaves our frame of life. It is a day that is considered especially joyful since the Tzadik returns to his or her grave for that period of 1 day. While having returned the Tzadik / Tzadeket is available to assist human beings in their spiritual work and desires.

This day actually has the Birth Day of BenJamin and the Hilula of two Righteous people. Methusalach and Rachel Imeinu. In Kabbalah the birthday represents the potential of the light that a person will reveal during their lifetime while the death anniversary represents the actual revelation of the light the person reveals. This last day of a person's life has the light within its frame of reference. This light includes all of the potential light that was not yet revealed by a person. Let's take a look at these three amazing individuals.

Rachel Imeinu

Genesis Chapter 29 Verse 9

עודנו מדבר עמם ורחל באה עם-הצאן אשר לאביה כי רעה הוא

Transliteration

Ohdehnu Medaber Emam VeRachel BaAh Em HaTzon Ahsher LeAhveha Ki RoAh He

Translation

While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she tended them.

chanoch's Commentary on the Verse

There are 12 words in this verse and 41 letters. The 12 words hint to the 12 Tribes and the 41 spells the word Em which means mother. As the first time Rachel is mentioned we learn that Rachel is the Mother on the 12 Tribes. It is from this verse and information that the Sages learned to call Rachel Our Mother which is the Hebrew word Emeinu.

There are some unusual words in this verse as well. The 52nd Name of God is עמם which is the third word in the verse. This Name relates to Passion. It also has the word Am within it which means Nation or People. It can also be translated as the Nation of Chesed since the Mother Letter Mem represents water which is the essence of Chesed according to Kabbalah.

Another word that seems out of place is the word LeAhveha. This word has a Lamed which means Teacher; The word Av which means father; and the letters Yood Hey which is a Name of God is also in this word. The word translates as "her father" yet it also can be translated as "God teaches the father" or "the father teaches about God." This might hint that Rachel was taught about the occult from her father and still remains pure of this desire to receive for one self alone. Please note this is only my speculation and not something that is said by the Sages.

This verse is the first mention of Rachel Imeinu in the Torah. From other verses that may not mention her Name we learn that she was the Daughter of Lavan who is related to Abraham and she was born in Haran in the year 2170. She was acting as a shepherdess. From the Midrash we are taught that Lavan was a famous occult figure in the world. He had lost all of his wealth so that he was not able to pay for a shepherd to watch his few remaining sheep and thus, his daughters were forced to become shepherdesses.

Jacob was born in the year 2130 which makes him 40 when Rachel was born. As we know 40 is a significant number in the Kabbalah and the Torah.

Genesis Chapter 29 Verse 10

ויהי כאשר ראה יעקב את-רחל בת-לבן אחי אמו ואת-צאן לבן אחי אמו ויגש יעקב ויגל את-האבן מעל פי הבאר וישק את-צאן לבן אחי אמו

Transliteration

Vayehi CaAsher ReEh Yaacov Et Rachel Bat Lavan Eti Ahmo VeEt Tzon Lavan Eti Ahmo Vayigash Yaacov Vayigal Et HaAvan MayAl Pi HaBeEr Vayishak Et Tzon Lavan Eti Amo.

Translation

And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

chanoch's Commentary on the Verse

This verse has 29 words and 91 letters. 91 represents the unity of Zeir Anpin and Malchut or the spiritual and physical worlds. This is Jacob and Rachel as the chariots for these spiritual essences. 29 relates to the month of Leo and the constellation Leo or Aryeh. This is said to relate to the Jewish Nation, which relates to Jacob our father and Rachel our mother.

Genesis Chapter 29 Verse 23

ויהי בערב ויקח את-לאה בתו ויבא אתה אליו ויבא אליה

Transliteration

Vayihi BaErev Vayikach Et LeAh Batu Vayavo Atah Elav Vayavo Elyah.

Translation

And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

chanoch's Commentary on the Verse

This verse has 11 words and 39 letters. 39 hints to the End of Days which relates to the lost Tribes being re revealed and 11 relates to the idea of the Ketoret which hints at getting closer to the Creator. Both numbers are hinting that Leah's marriage to Jacob is part of the plan of Creation.

This verse relates to Rachel our Mother since At The end of the Seven years, Yaakov planed his Marriage as agreed with Lavan. Yaakov gave special codes to Rachel in order that Lavan should not deceive him with her sister Leah. However since Lavan did Send Leah to the Chupah, in order she shouldn’t be Ashamed Rachel told her all the Codes, and Yaakov married her.

In This Tremendous Merit HaShem said I Will Never Forget My Beloved Children – Kellal Yisrael!

Genesis Chapter 30 Verse 22

ויזכר אלהים את-רחל וישמע אליה אלהים ויפתח את-רחמה

Transliteration

Vayezachor Elohim Et Rachel Vayishema Elyah Elohim VayiPatach Et Rachamah.

Translation

And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

chanoch's Commentary on the Verse

This verse has 10 words and 40 letters. 10 indicates completion and Creation as well as the 10 Sefirot. 40 represents the energy of Mercy. Also, please note the two words with the Vav and Yood prefixes. The Yood represents the making of the shoresh into a verb. The Vav is a connecting word "and." The word Et represents the letter Hey in certain Kabbalistic codes. There are two of the words Et. Therefore two Heys. When you also realize that Rachel is a Hey also being a woman with a womb and the last word is Rachamah is the word that means womb. Therefore, there are two Names of the Tetragrammaton concealed in this verse. This is a hint that she would have two Righteous sons - Joseph and Benjamin.

There are other verses that i did not have time to put on this page. Bezerat HaShem we will complete this for next year.

Midrashim

There is a famous Midrash story from the Talmud:

When the Bais Hamikdosh (the Holy Temple) was destroyed, Moses, the Matriarchs and Patriarchs stormed the heavens, and pleaded with G-d to bring the Jews back to the Land of Israel. But, the Jews had sinned - and G-d sealed the judgment against them. And although Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaakov, and Moses tried, though they spoke of the great things they had done in their lives, and pleaded that their merits be used to help their children, the gates of mercy were sealed tight.

Then Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah spoke and requested that HaShem return the People to the Land of Israel. Again HaShem refused to hear them since the people warranted to lose everything.

But then Rachel spoke. She asked that in her merit, her children (the Jewish people) should be spared. In the merit of her love to her sister Leah, and in the merit of her refusal to shame her at great personal sacrifice, the Almighty annulled His decree. To her G-d said, "Stop crying, because your prayers have been heard." And they continue to be heard, to this day.

Actually our return to the Land of Israel is only in the merit of Rachel's love for her sister and sharing her husband with her sister in order to not embarrass her publicly.

Another Midrash

We all know the story of how, on her wedding day, Rachel's father switched her with her older sister Leah, deceiving Yaakov (Jacob) into marrying ‘the wrong girl'. The Sages ask, how is it possible that Yaakov could be tricked? The answer given is that Rachel and Yaakov had developed signs to use so that they would be able to communicate with one another. They knew that they were soul mates, but Rachel's father was known to be less than honest, and they wanted to be sure their betrothal would be followed through. But when the time came and Leah was ‘switched' so that she would marry Yaakov instead, Rachel did not want her sister to be embarrassed. She taught her the signs, and gave up her honor and happiness for her sister. It was this act of pure love and giving that gave the Jewish people the merit to continue to this day.

This powerful prayer that Rachel used to defend her people is one of many reasons Jews refer to her as Rachel Imeinu (Our Mother Rachel), and others call her Momma Rochel. Just as we hear about mothers lifting cars off of their children, or doing other superhuman feats, Rachel Imeinu is the one who loves us unconditionally, cares for us, cries for us, and brings our supplications straight to the ear of HaShem.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Jews and non-Jews go and visit her grave. People pray to find a spouse, to be granted children, as well as supplicated for any other need or desire. It is a very special place for a person, man or woman, to feel heard, to feel loved, and accepted unconditionally.

It is because of Rachel Imenu and the power of her prayers, and her status as the mother of all Jews, that we pray for people in the merit of their mother. It is a mother's cry for her child that arouses rachamim (mercy) from the Almighty.

Another Midrash

While giving birth to her 2nd son, Binyamin, Rachel, the beloved wife of Ya'akov, died, and was buried on the road in Bethlehem.

The site of her burial in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, known to us by tradition, is covered by a stone edifice. For millennia, Jews have come to this site to pour forth their hearts in prayer, and to awaken her merit in any time of travail, for the community as well as for the individual.

Our mother Rachel was not buried in the Cave of Machpelah in Hevron together with the other Matriarchs and Patriarchs of our people. Instead, she was buried on the road to Jerusalem, exactly where she died, while coming back to Jerusalem from the House of Lavan with Ya'akov.

Why did our Father Ya'akov bury Rachel on the road in Bethlehem?

According to Rabbi Eliyahu Ki Tov's Book of Our Heritage, Ya'akov saw prophetically that in the future, Jewish exiles would pass by on that road and she might seek mercy for them. The Kabbalist teach that Rachel died through the evil eye - evil speech of Jacob. She is buried in the earth on the road as a chariot for us to recognize how dangerous is evil eye- evil speech. See below for more information on this subject.

When Nebuzaradan exiled the Jews from Israel, and they in fact passed her grave, Rachel emerged to weep and to ask for mercy in their behalf, (Yirmeyahu 3l): "Thus did the Lord say, a voice is heard on high, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeps for her children, she refuses to be consoled for her children, for they are not." And God in fact answers: "Thus did the Lord say, refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your labor, said the Lord, and the children shall return to their boundary" (Rashi Va'yechi, and Midrashim quoted by Radak, Yirmeyahu 31).

Another Midrash relates: When the Patriarchs and Matriarchs went to intercede with God over the image which Menasheh (One of the Kings of the country Judah) placed in the Temple, God was not reconciled. Rachel entered and said before Him: Lord of the Universe! Whose mercy is greater? Yours? Or the mercy of a person of flesh and blood. Surely, Your mercy is greater. Have I not brought my rival (Leah) into my house? For all the work which Yaakov did for my father, was done by him, only for my sake. When I came to enter the chupah, my sister was brought in my place. And not only did I keep silent, but I even gave her my signs. You, too -- though Your children have brought Your enemy into Your House - be silent towards them! He said to her: You have defended them well, there is reward for your labor, for your righteousness in having given your signs to your sister (Rashi Yirmeyahu 31).

From the time when the People of Israel went into their first exile until Yirmeyahu's prophecy of redemption ('and the children shall return to their boundary'), the grave of our mother Rachel has always been and will always remain a House of Prayer to Israel, for she is a mother to all Israel, and always awakens mercy in their behalf.

Other Information

Rachel was buried on the road since she is a chariot for Malchut as she represents Malchut to Jacob/Israel her husband who is Zeir Anpin and Leah her sister is the chariot to Binah. Rachel died from Jacob's words being manifested even though he would not want this to have happened.

When Jacob was leaving Lavan and Haran with his family Rachel took his idol. When he caught up with Jacob and the family he searched the tents with Jacob's permission. When Lavan searched in Rachel's tent she sat on the idol and told her father she could not get up since it was her feminine time. (Perhaps it was; perhaps it was not.) After Lavan did not find the idol and as Jacob was parting from Lavan with Lavan's permission, Jacob said "that the person who took the idol should be put to death".

When a woman goes into childbirth she goes into a time of judgment. During times of judgment each soul is judged. If the soul merits one of the four deaths, that particular woman will die in child birth chas v'shalom. This is what happened to Rachel since she was responsible for theft, speaking Loshon Harah, dishonoring her father, and lack of certainty in the Creator. Actually she did all of these things to teach us no to do them.

Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin. She wanted to call him Ben Oni which is usually translated as the son of my affliction/son of the poor/to be humble. Jacob renamed him Benjamin, son of the right). Benjamin became a Tzadik just like his brother Joseph. He is considered a chariot for Yesod of Malchut while Joseph is the Tzadik for Yesod of Zeir Anpin. We will discuss more of Benjamin in another year.

Additional Commentary added to this page for 5777

Jewish Mother's Day The 11th of Cheshvan

by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

One of the most important days in the month of Cheshvan is the 11th, which commemorates the day of passing of our matriarch Rachel. Rachel was Jacob's most beloved wife and was the principal of his household and thus the principal of the entire house of Israel. From the first day of the year, the 1st day of Tishrei, the 11th day of Cheshvan is the 41st day. 41 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word "eim," which means "mother," thus the 11th of Cheshvan is truly the Jewish Mother's Day.

"Rachel cries for her children, she will not be comforted…"

Rachel constantly mourns over the exile of her children, the Jewish people, and the Almighty comforts her with the words: "Withhold your voice from crying and your eyes from tearing, for there is a reward for your actions… and the children will return to their border." Literally, "return to their border" refers to the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. But, more deeply, it refers to the return of our people to our natural spiritual environs: Judaism and our ancestral Jewish nature. These are the borders that truly circumscribe the uniqueness of our people. Amazingly, numerically, the value of the Hebrew word for "border" (g'vul / גבול) is exactly the same as the value of the word for "mother" (eim / אם); both equal 41.

In Hebrew, Cheshvan is written with the four letters: חשון. The borders (the first and last letters) of Cheshvan are chet - ח and nun - ן, which together spell the word chein - חן, meaning "beauty." The word chein - חן, "beauty" equals 58. The 58th day of the year is the 28th day of Cheshvan.

Rachel is described as the most beautiful woman in the Torah. The numerical value of the two middle letters, shin and vov, שו, is equal to isha - אשה , meaning "woman." Thus, the name of the month itself hints at the special and unique grace endowed to women.

King Solomon says that external beauty by itself is deceitful. If external beauty is all that a woman seeks then the name of the month becomes Marcheshvan, which means Bitter-Cheshvan. It is of such a woman King Solomon says: "And I find the woman to be more bitter than death." But, of true beauty, the beauty of a Jewish woman that emanates from within, he says: "The woman of beauty shall support honor." This true beauty is given to us, the Jewish people, by G‑d through the Torah, for "there is no truth but Torah" and "there is no honor but Torah."

It was Rachel, who was first endowed with this real beauty. Rachel is described as the most beautiful woman in the Torah, "She had a beautiful face and a beautiful figure." Thus, Rachel was the embodiment of the verse: "A woman who fears G‑d, she shall be praised," praised both for her grace and true beauty.

The beauty of the Jewish woman is not just a passive agent of spirituality. The sages teach that the offspring of Esau and his grandson Amalek can be defeated only by the children of Rachel.

Who embodies the spirit of Amalek in our day and age? In Hebrew, the words "Amalek" (עמלק) and "doubt" (safek / ספק) have the same numerical value. Thus, the spirit of Amalek that continues to plague each and every Jew is doubt; doubt in our faith, doubt in our Torah, and doubt in ourselves and the moral justification of our path.

But, sometimes the spirit of Amalek becomes bolder and captures a Jew (whether he be a private individual or a political figure) to the point of driving him or her to unconscious or even conscious self-hatred. This can result in a Jew's cooperation with the enemies of our people.

Finally there are the direct spiritual offspring of Amalek: those enemies who threaten the lives of Jews and our return to the Land of Israel.

The sages say that beauty is a woman's weapon. With everything that we have said about Rachel, her role as our matriarch, as the progenitor of Jewish nature, and of her beauty, it should now be clear that our weapon for defeating Amalek is the special beauty and grace of the Jewish mother. Joseph the tzaddik (righteous one) inherited his mother Rachel's beauty and he too is described as having a beautiful face and a beautiful figure. That is why the prophet says about him that "the house of Jacob will be fire and the house of Joseph its flame and the house of Esau straw, and together they will ignite him and consume him; and there will be no remnant for the house of Esau."

True Jewish beauty and grace destroy the enemy indirectly but, beauty is no regular weapon. True grace and beauty work by attracting the sparks of holiness that are bound within the enemy. These sparks are G‑d's will that the enemy still exist. Yet, when they are redeemed by their attraction to true beauty, they escape the enemy's grasp, leaving him void of any Divine source and causing his demise. True Jewish beauty and grace destroy the enemy indirectly by leaving him void of any beauty or grace himself, making him irrelevant and powerless.

The battle against Amalek in our generation must be conducted primarily with our ability to communicate to all around us the true nature of Jewish beauty and grace. It is to this beauty of Jewish nature and character that we return during the month of Cheshvan by reconnecting with our matriarch Rachel, with our own Jewish nature, and with ourselves.

Yiddishe Mama

Rachel lost her own spiritual luxury - the privilege of being buried in the Cave of Machpeilah - in order to help her children. This represents the unparalleled quality of the "Jewish mother" who is always willing to sacifice her own needs, spiritual or physical, for the sake of helping her children.

And this is the inner reason why Jewish identity follows the maternal and not the paternal route. For even though the father possesses a greater degree of spirituality - since he has the privilege of observing more mitzvos than a woman - the quality of a Jewish mother is nevertheless greater, that she is willing to forego much of that spirituality in order to enable her to raise a family with tender loving care. And since this quality is even more quintessentially Jewish than the spirituality of the man, it is the mother that actually makes her children Jewish.

Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe - Parshas Vayechi

Mama Rochel understood that tending to a broken heart comes above even Kavod Hashem....

When Rochel, out of frustration, complained to Yaakov about not having children, Yaakov got angry with her. The mefarshim say, based on a medrash, that Yaakov was punished for getting angry at Rochel and telling her that she needs to daven to Hashem and not complain to him.

Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro points out that Yaakov was defending Kavod Shamayim (the honor of Heaven) and was correct that Rochel's complaints were unjustified. His mistake was that he addressed the words that she spoke and not the pain in her heart. Had he pierced the veil of her soul, he would have known that because of her anguish, the words escaped her mouth and she was not accountable for them. He should have been slower to defend Kavod Shamayim and faster to understand human suffering.

This he explains was the greatness of Rochel. After the destruction of the first Temple, when Bnei Yisroel went into Galus, all the Avos and Imahos came before Hashem with all their great zechusim but were turned away empty handed. All the heroism of the Akeida, Yaakov's Torah, and lives of pure mesiras nefesh to build Klal Yisroel, did not impress Hashem in that dark moment of history.

The only one who merited Hashem's attention was Rochel Imeinu. What was her great act that warranted this special treatment? That she gave the simanim to her sister and helped fool Yaakov. With this bravery, in her mind, she was sabotaging the history of the Jewish nation since she understood that it was her and Yaakov that were destined to build the nation. Nevertheless she chose to cast aside her own destiny and Hashem's grand plan in order to save her sister from a single embarrassing moment.

Only Rochel, who had such a deep understanding of another person's pain and how it carries more weight than the entire Jewish experience, can be Hashem's emissary to bring his children's pain before Him. Only tears from Mama Rochel can bring the Geula

Methusalach

According to the Hebrew Bible, Methuselach (Hebrew: מְתֿוּשֶלַח / מְתֿוּשָלַח, ; "Man of the dart/spear," or alternatively "his death shall bring judgment") is purported to be the oldest person to ever live. Extra-biblical tradition maintains that he died on the 11th of Cheshvan of the year 1656 after Creation), at the age of 969, seven days before the beginning of the Great Flood. Methuselach was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noach.

The name Methuselach, or the phrase "old as Methuselach," is commonly used to refer to any living thing reaching great age.

One of the favorite characters in the Old Testament is Methuselach, who lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), longer than anyone else recorded. His father was Chanoch, of whom it is said he "walked with God" (5:24) but who was taken to heaven without dying at 365 years. Methuselach's son Lamech died a few years before the Flood at 777 years (5:31) after bearing Noach.

When Methuselach was born, his godly father must have prophetically known of coming things for his son's name means "when he dies, judgment," and interestingly enough, Methuselach died in the same year God judged the sinful world with the great Flood of Noach's day.

There are many details of the Flood account about which we can only speculate, but perhaps Noach was given up to 120 years of warning that the Flood was coming (6:3), and we are told he was a "preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5) during the building, yet only "eight souls were saved" (1 Peter 3:20). Why didn't he influence more people? (The Midrash indicates that the people of Noach's generation felt they could control the world and there would be no flood or other disaster since they could order the Angels to do their bidding. HaShem changed the Names of the Angels and they lost this ability to control nature through controlling the Angels.) His faithful obedience in building a huge boat on dry land must have been both attention-getting and a source of conviction to the surrounding sinful people. We might suspect that Lamech and Methuselach espoused the same testimony, yet only the eight close family members boarded the Ark.

Tradition also teaches that the Flood was delayed initially until Methusalach died in his merit of being a Righteous Man. It is also taught that the Flood was to start on the 15th of Cheshvan but was delayed until his Shivah (Mourning) period was completed.

Tradition teaches that the men of the early generations were to live 1000 years and lost years for the mistakes/sins that they performed during their lifetime. It is interesting to note that Metushalach lost 31 years on the teaching of this midrash. 31 is the gematria of the Name of God El which relates to Chesed. The creation word Vayehi ויהי "And there was" has a gematria of 31.

Methusalach was the 8th generation from Adam. As such he represents the Sefirah in the history of Mankind. Tradition teaches he lived 969 years. There is much speculation as to the meaning of this length of life, yet there is no accepted explanation for this number.

Methusalach appears in one of my energy verses. Here is some information about this verse and his Name of Methusalach.

Chronicles Alef Chapter 1 Verse 3

חנוך מתושלח למך

Transliteration

Chanoch Metushalach Lamech

Translation

Chanoch Metushalach Lamech

chanoch's Commentary on the Verse

As we know there are no vowels or punctuation marks in the Torah Scroll. Why does this and many other verses in the book of Chronicles have three Names. Each Name relates to one of the three columns of the Tree of Life. Methusalach represents the center column.

The Hebrew spelling of Metushalach can be seen as three words as follows: מת ו שלח The first word Met means death or dying. The second word is a single letter Vav which is a connecting word like "and.".The third word has many meanings which i will paste here: dagger; animal hide; sprout; ditch; irrigation canal; breadth; ripe olive; expediter; to send; to dispatch; to stretch; to extend; to dismiss; to drive away; to send away; to send; to dispatch; to launch; to dismiss; to drive away; to divorce; to release; to let loose; to extend;

Metushalach can be translated as "and drive away death." When we add the deeper meaning of my Name chanoch "Teach the hidden wisdom of HaShem and drive away death." When we add the meaning of Lamech the full sentence becomes "Teach Brains to Learn the hidden wisdom of HaShem and drive away death." This is the energy we can connect to on this Hilula of Rachel and Metushalach.