12" x 24"
Cold-Cast Bronze $3,600
Limited Edition 18
Rachel is the fourth matriarch of the Jewish people. When she and Jacob encountered each other at the well, it was love at first site. Rachel's father, Laban, who was Jacob's uncle, made an agreement that after seven years of labor, Jacob would be permitted to marry Rachel. On the night of the wedding, Laban veiled his older daughter, Leah, and directed her to the nuptials. Jacob agreed to work for another seven years to be able to marry Rachel, as well.
Rachel was full of pure light. When she found out that Leah was to become Jacob's wife instead of her, she told her sister the secret signs that she and Jacob had arranged so he would know it was her. Her sister's honor was her utmost priority and she would not have her be shamed and humiliated. Rachel, as a prophetess, understood that what she was sacrificing was her own physical and spiritual future. As Jacob's second wife, the first wife being her sister, her marriage according to Torah was not legitimate and once they reached the Holy Land it would not be permitted. She would not be able to take her rightful position next to her husband in the family burial plot. Yet, that did not sway her decision.
Rachel suffered deeply in her lifetime because she could not bear children. Eventually, she did have two sons. But in the eyes of God and the Jewish people, Rachel was the ultimate mother. When she passed away while giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, God told Jacob to bury her right there, at that remote location on a deserted road. It is Rachel, our mother, who comes out and cries to God to have mercy on us as we march into exile past her grave, and in her merit God answers, "Your children will return to their borders."
The side panels depict Rachel tomb, a symbol of a mother's unconditional love for her children. However they have acted and whatever their misdeeds, she still sees the beauty of who they are and embraces them with love and compassion.