Mother Rachel in Gaza
Rabbi Eliyahu: I sent Mother Rachel to Gaza
Former chief rabbi responds to rumors of Mother Rachel appearing before troops, warning them of danger in Operation Cast Lead, says, the story is true, I sent her.
Two days have passed since the ceasefire in Gaza took effect, and one of the most widespread legends of the days on the battlefield has received rabbinical approval.
On the last days of the war, rumors spread about a woman presenting herself as Jewish matriarch Rachel appearing to IDF soldiers and warning them of explosives, booby-trapped houses and terrorist ambushes within the Gaza Strip.
Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who is considered one of most prominent religious leaders in Israel, recently prayed several times at Rachel’s Tomb for the safety of the troops. When asked about the rumor, the rabbi said, the story is true. I sent her.
Due to his illness, the rabbi has not been giving his weekly sermon in recent months, but has been replaced by his son, Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu. In Monday’s sermon Rabbi Eliyahu junior commented on the rumor, saying, If I hadn’t heard this story with my own ears, I wouldn’t be able to tell it, but I met the head of a Yeshiva who told me, ‘This is not a fabricated story. I know the man this happened to. He gave me the man’s name, and then asked, say, does this have anything to do with the fact that Rabbi Eliyahu left the hospital and went to Rachel’s Tomb before the war? He went there once, twice, three times, and didn’t go anywhere else.
To be honest, I was afraid to ask the rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu continued. When we go to him with such stories, he always throws us out, so I approached him with caution. I told him, father, you know, they are saying such and such happened in the war. Should we believe? Should we not? Is it true? Is it a lie? He looked and me and said, yes, it is true. I told her, I told Rachel there is a war, don’t stop yourself from crying, go before the Holy one blessed be He, pray for the soldiers that dedicate their souls for the people of Israel, that they may strike and not be stricken. I said to him, then you should know that she really did appear there and he asked, did she tell them that I sent her?