RACHEL'S TOMBS & THE MOSQUE OF BILAL BIN RABAH

RACHEL'S TOMBS & THE MOSQUE OF BILAL BIN RABAH

Rachel’s Tomb, which is also home to the Mosque of Bilal Bin Rabah, is acclaimed as the burial place of the matriarch Rachel, the mother of Joseph, son of Jacob. The site is located on Jerusalem-Hebron Road at the northern entrance of Bethlehem.

According to the Bible, Jacob and his family were on their way to the city of Hebron, when his wife, Rachel, the mother of his child Joseph, died and was buried at the site. The Muslims also used the site as a mosque and referred to it as the Mosque of Bilal Bin Rabah. In 1560, during the Ottoman Rule in Palestine, Mohammed Basha constructed a shrine and crowned it with a vault. In the 19th century, the British Moses Montefiore added two rooms to the site and made a passageway with a mihrab, or a praying corner, for the Muslims. Following the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, the site was confiscated, and Palestinians were prevented from entering it. With the construction of the Segregation Wall beginning in 2002, Rachel’s Tomb was annexed behind the Wall and surrounded by fences and security towers to become part of Jerusalem. In 2010, Rachel’s Tomb, considered the third holiest site in Judaism, was inscribed on the list of Jewish national heritage.

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