Monday, April 9, 2012

The mitzvah of Brit Mila

                   This week’s parsha also goes into great length discussing the laws of brit mila- conducting the circumcision on the eighth day of life for a baby boy. Parshas Lech Lecha mentioned Abraham conducting brit mila on himself; however, this week’s parsha adds that each male would have to be circumcised on the eighth day.

Why on the eighth day and not earlier?
 By the eighth day, a child has enough strength to endure the procedure. Additionally, the brit is considered to be a sacrifice to Hashem.  Because it is deemed a sacrifice, it is required to experience at least one Shabbot before the sacrifice is given to Hashem, in order that the baby’s neshama-soul- is elevated on Shabbot.
            Moreover, the additional halachot described in this parsha come to teach us the importance of the mitzvah to perform brit mila. This brit must be conducted during the day and not at night, just as sacrifices were offered to Hashem during the day and not during the day. Also, the repetition of the mitzvah in this week’s parsha, shows us how crucial it is to perform the circumcision on the eighth day, even if that day is on Shabbot. In order to conduct the brit, we may commit a melachah-creative act-, which is usually prohibited on Shabbot, in order to fulfill this mitzvah.

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