This ceremony uses a red cord brought back from Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel. that had been wrapped around Rachel’s tomb. Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem. is the matriarch who suffered years of infertility, bore two children, Jacob's eldest son by his beloved wife, Rachel. Joseph, the dreamer, was his father's favorite and nearly murdered by his brothers. Sold into slavery, he became viceroy of Egypt where he ultimately saves the Egyptians and also his own family from starvation. His Hebrew name is Yosef/ and Benjamin, with great difficulty, and died giving birth to Benjamin. In Jewish tradition she has become our mater dolorosa, our mother of tears and the prime intercessor for women suffering infertility. Women seeking children visit Rachel’s tomb, near Bethlehem, where they wrap a red cord around the tomb. The cord is then cut in pieces and each piece is entwined around the wrist of a woman in need.
The pregnant woman gathers in the midst of a group of women friends that stands around her holding a red cord brought from the Tomb of Rachel. She then recites this prayer for herself:
“Merciful and gracious Creator, have compassion on your loving handmaiden, [her own name Bat/daughter of her mother’s name], that she may give birth to her child safely and in good health. May the merit of our holy foremothers The first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah., The second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka., The third of the Jewish matriarchs, Lead is the eldest of Lavan's daughters and one of the wives of Jacob. She is the daughter whom Lavan tricks Jacob into marrying instead of his younger daughter Rachel, whom Jacob has requested to marry. Leah is mother to six of the the twelve tribes and to one daughter, Dinah., Bilhah and Zilpah and the merit of our great leaders Miriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron. As Moses' and Aaron's sister she, according to midrash, prophesies Moses' role and helps secure it by watching over the young baby, seeing to it that Pharaoh's daughter takes him and that the baby is returned to his mother for nursing. During the Israelites' trek through the desert, a magical well given on her behalf travels with the Israelites, providing water, healing, and sustenance., Deborah, Hannah is the mother of the prophet Samuel, who, through her prayers, is rewarded a child. She herself is also considered a prophet. Hannah's intense devotional style of prayer becomes the model, in rabbinic Judaism, for prayer in general. and Judith saved her people by seducing Holofernes, the enemy general, and then decapitating him. The story of Judith, found in the apocrypha, is associated with Chanukah (relating to the tradition of eating cheese dishes because she seduced the general and fed him dairy). Her Hebrew name is Yehudit. sustain me through my time of danger. May You help me avoid unhealthy acts and stay far away from any drink, smoke, or food that may harm the precious life within me. May this child be born through spacious straits, with room to spare. As You opened the Red Sea so that the children of Israel could pass through unharmed, please open me so that this child is born safely and without pain. May this little one grow to be a righteous person, always walking in the path of The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. and in the pursuit of Lit. Good deeds. The traditional prayer for a newborn infant at his or her brit milah or baby naming concludes, "May s/he grow to Torah, to Chuppah, and to ma'asim tovim." [good deeds]. And may the Jewish people merit true redemption in this one’s lifetime. Amen.”
The women then help wrap the cord around the pregnant woman in the center, all the while heaping blessings upon her.
All then partake in the ceremonial meal laden with round foods.