Fulfilling his earlier vow, Jacob returned to the site where he had dream of the ladder ascending to heaven and built an altar there.
G-d then gave him the additional name of Israel, as the angel had informed him. As Jacob's clan moved further south and approached Bethlehem, Rachel went into labor and died while delivering her second son, whom Jacob named Benjamin.
Rachel died and was buried on the road leading to Efrat. Efrat is also known as Bethlehem.
We are taught that Rachel chose to be buried in Bethlehem, rather than in Hebron with the other patriarchs and matriarchs. She foresaw that the Jewish people would pass by Bethlehem many centuries later when they were driven out of the Land of Israel following the destruction of the first Temple. At that time, after the patriarchs tried but failed to appease G-d, Rachel argued that just as she had not been jealous of her sister Leah when she became Jacob's wife, G-d should not be "jealous" of the idols the Jews had worshiped. G-d accepted her argument, and proclaimed: "Because of you, Rachel, I will return the Jewish people to their homeland."
It is Rachel's self-sacrifice and devotion that evoke G-d's promise to redeem us, despite our misdeeds and shortcomings...
From Daily Wisdom