Rachel (Rahel) is Hebrew and means "ewe". Rachel was Jacob's wife. The twelve tribes of Israel are all the descendants of “Jacob”, whose name later became “Israel”. The story is that Jacob worked for Rachel's father for seven years in order to earn her hand in marriage. Rachel's father tricked Jacob to work for another seven before allowing the marriage. Rachel was a popular Colonial American name for a girl and continues to be popular today.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy a how-to for tracing ancient Jewish ancestry and Secret Genealogy II, Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors available at Ocean-Hose. Buy here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/