וְזָכַרְתִּי, אֶת בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב; וְאַף אֶת בְּרִיתִי יִצְחָק וְאַף אֶת בְּרִיתִי אַבְרָהָם, אֶזְכֹּר וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר. (וַיִּקְרָא כו:מב)
Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. (Vayikra 26:42)
The Toras Kohanim asks “What about the merit of the Matriarchs? Don’t all their good deeds deserve that their children be redeemed?” The Toras Kohanim answers that indeed they are remembered. The word “את“ is written in the Torah three times to tell us that merit of the wives also helps to redeem klal Yisrael. The Imrei Emes asks “There are four matriarchs, and not three! Which one is missing?” He answers that Rochel is missing, and he explains that this is because Rochel was constantly davening for the benefit of her offspring to the point that she was buried on the roadside, so that klal Yisrael could eventually be mispalel at her grave when they were sent to galus, triggering her tefillos and her zechus.
Upon seeing this idea, I found that it needed a little clarification. The Zohar tells us that Rochel is the “Akeres Habayis” and Leah is the “Eim Habanim.” I would like to suggest that the phrase from Tehillim “…akeres habayis, eim habanim semeicha…” (which we say in Hallel) refers to Rochel and Leah. She was the mainstay who was in charge of the house of Yaakov. This is not only a position of honor, but also represents the responsibility that she shouldered. We all understand that every Jewish mother davens continuously for the benefit of her children, and does not wait for them to be in trouble in order to start davening. If this is so, we can understand that the reason Rochel was chosen to be the one buried on the side of the road, was partially because davening for the benefit of klal Yisrael was part of her persona being responsible for klal Yisrael (to a greater degree than the other Matriarchs and Patriarchs).
In short, it seems to me that even in her lifetime, Rochel was already being mispallel for Klal Yisrael, even without knowing that difficult times were ahead. Such tefillos are always standing in front of Hashem and do not need to be remembered. This thought seems to be very comforting as we read the Tochacha in this week’s parsha. Even in advance, and even with the knowledge that we may do wrong, our father in Heaven acknowledges that He is moved by the prayer of our Matriarch Rochel, and with Hashem’s help we will merit to go from our current galus to the ultimate geulah.