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Rabbi’s word. Brit – the path to perfection

N the past week on the first day of Iyar month four Jews concluded an alliance with the Creator in our community – they have undergone the procedure of circumcision (brit). We congratulate them from all our hearts and, as usual in such cases, wish: letoro, lehupo, lemaasim tovim! Which means that we wish that having concluded the alliance with the Creator they would learn His Torah, come under the chuppah and accomplish acts of kindness.

As circumcision is a very important event in the life of every Jew and a great celebration for the community, we decided to tell a little about this mitzvah. The first man who made it under the command of the Creator was Abraham (Abram before brit): “When Abram was 99 years old, the Eternal One appeared to him and told to him: I am the God-All-Powerful. Walk before Me and be entire. And I will make certain the covenant with you and will make you multiply you exceedingly… I promise you will become the root of a huge family tree of multiple nations and kings will descend from you… And I will give you and your descendants after you land for your living, all the land of Canaan for eternal possession, and I will be your God and their God forever… Here is my covenant which you must keep between Me and you ad between your descendants after you: each male who lives among you shall be circumcised” (Bereishit, 17:1 - 10).

There are different explanations why did Abram did not accomplish such an important commandment while comprehending and complying Torah, including later wise men decisions, before obtaining Torah to the people of Israel, but waited for the Creator to point that to him. The easiest is the following explanation: as the essence of this commandment is the union between the man and the Creator, it is impossible to conclude such an alliance unilaterally, desire of both sides is needed. Therefore, notwithstanding the fact that Abram knew about the circumcision mitzvah importance, he was waiting until the God would consider him worthy to conclude such an alliance.

Sphorno (on of the most well-known commentators of the written Torah, who lived in Italy in the end of the 15th – beginning of the 16 th centuries) explains the reason according to which male’s reproductive organ was chosen as a union sign. As it is it on which renovation of humanity depends, this choice represents a hint to the fact that brit is eternal and is extends not only to Abraham, but also to his descendants. Circumcising the foreskin, a Jew joins the union with the Creator and becomes a part of Jewish people not only theoretically, but really.

“Whose creations are more perfect: of a man or of a Creator?” – this is a question one non-Jew asked a great wise man rabbi Akiva hinting that by making circumcision Jews are trying to improve something created by God. “And what do you prefer to eat: wheat or bread?” – answered rabbi Akiva with another question.

In such a way we make sure that despite the fact that the world was created admirable and perfect, the Creator gave a man a possibility to finish the creation process which in itself is a great honor for him – he becomes a Creator’s partner, assimilating Him!... It often happens that trying to improving the situation in his surroundings, a man, first of all, pays his attention to mistakes and shortages of others. In the Torah we find another approach. We shall start world improvement from ourselves.

Herewith, regardless the absolute importance of the spiritual, we start improving from the physical – from our body. We are living in the material world, and in order to rise to the higher spiritual level, we need first of all to dispose of the lust of the body, that is, to eliminate such bad qualities like anger, laziness, greed, gluttony, envy, and other similar, and to find positive character features: tolerance, quickness, generosity, compassion, humility ... This is the path of self-improvement, coming to which a person will go further: learn the Torah, build a Jewish family, accomplish worthy acts of kindness. This is what the Jews wish someone who concluded an alliance with the Creator: letoro, lehupo, lemaasim tovim!

We would like again to congratulate those who were honored to enter into alliance with the God. Mazl tov!


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