Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The mitzvah of circumcision


The second mitzvah in the Torah is that of brit milah, circumcision. This was originally taught to Avraham, but the Rambam pointed out (Peirush haMishnayot, Chullin, perek Gid haNasheh) that it was reiterated in Parshat Tazria, after the Torah was given, to demonstrate that it would be binding for the Jewish people post-Sinai as well.

Why did HaShem command us to circumcise Jewish males? The Sefer haChinuch suggests that one purpose of this Mitzvah is to physically mark the Jewish people as unique, just as our mitzvah obligations mark us as spiritually unique.
One might well ask why HaShem did not do this Himself, creating Jewish males with a natural circumcision, but HaShem has Man do it in order that he learn that just as a person can complete his body with his deeds (such as circumcision), so a person can complete his soul with his deeds.

Have a great day,

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