16 And there is hope for your future —declares Hashem: Your children shall return to their country.
v’-yaysh tik-VAH l’-a-kha-ree-TAYKH n’-um a-do-NAI v’-SHA-vu va-NEEM lig-vu-LAM
טז וְיֵשׁ־תִּקְוָה לְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וְשָׁבוּ בָנִים לִגְבוּלָם׃
31:16 Your children shall return to their country
In this moving passage, God speaks directly to the matriarch Rachel, who is known in Jewish tradition as having a special role in the redemption of her children, the Jewish people, and their return to Israel. According to Jewish tradition, when her father Laban gave her sister Leah to Yaakov in marriage in her stead, Rachel revealed to Leah a secret sign she had made with Yaakov in order to spare Leah from embarrassment. Because of Rachel’s unparalleled selflessness and love for her sister, it is Rachel’s prayers, tears and cries for compassion to her children that are heard by God more than any other biblical figure. God promises Rachel that those tears are not for naught, but rather “There is a reward for your labor” (verse 16) and “your children shall return to their country.” In a moving example of symbolism, this verse is often sung with emotion at Ben Gurion Airport as new Jewish immigrants arrive in Israel.