It was a special and moving day at Rachel's Tomb, on the road between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. For the first time in almost eight years, Jews were allowed to enter the compound by private cars. After a month-long trial period, the authorities will assess whether or not to continue the new arrangement.
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When the Oslo War broke out in 2000 and Rachel's Tomb began coming under fire from Arabs, the compound was fortified and private cars were not allowed in. From then on, visitors had to take a bulletproof bus from the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem to reach the holy site.
'By donkey, bicycle or horse'
Chaim Silverstein of the Rachel Imeinu Foundation said: "It's a great day for us today. We're not giving up until people will be able to access Rachel's Tomb by foot, by bicycle, by donkey, by horse, any way that they want to so they can visit our Mother Rachel."
Rabbi Menachem Porush said that "the most difficult thing for us is that Rachel our Mother was taken from us and was closed off by barriers and walls, while the essence of the location of the tomb is that it is on the way and accessible for everyone to come and pray. We must not stop working until all the walls are taken down."