Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lightning Strikes and circumcision and upsherin

Rise Above Trivial Aspects of Honor

It is ridiculous how some people are concerned about trivial aspects of "honor." For example, a person may refuse to visit a friend or relative, because they feel the other person should come to him first. Or they become angry if they visit someone and that person does not repay the visit.
Focus on being practical. If you would like to speak to someone, what does it matter if he did not come to you first? Aaron the first Cohen and brother of Moses, would go to each party and tell the other one (a white lie) that the other party admitted he/she was wrong in order  to make peace

Love Yehuda Lave

Vayeira (Genesis 18-22)

GOOD MORNING! In this week's Torah portion, Avraham is recovering from Bris Mila. Later, Isaac is born and has a Bris Mila. So, I thought to share a few insights on ... Bris Mila!
The Almighty commanded Abraham, "... My covenant you shall keep -- you and your descendants after you for all generations. This is my covenant which you shall keep between Me and you and your descendants after you -- circumcise all males. And you shall circumcise the flesh of the foreskin and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And at eight days old every male shall be circumcised throughout all of your generations ... My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant" (Genesis 17:9-13).
The words "Bris Mila" mean "The Covenant of Circumcision." The Covenant is bi-directional: the Jewish people undertake to fulfill God's laws and God watches over us. The circumcision is the sign of the Almighty's Covenant with Avraham to make his descendants a great nation and to give them the Land of Israel.
Removal of the foreskin is a religious act, not a medical act. It must be performed by a competent and God-fearing mohel (a professionally trained and certified expert). The person could be a Dr, but doesn't have to be. It makes sense that if one is bringing his son into the Covenant with the Almighty, that he would enlist the most competent person to perform the circumcision. The certified mohel is not only an expert's expert in the physical aspects, but he fully understands the spiritual implications and requirements necessary for fulfilling the mitzvah properly. If one uses a doctor, he should use one who is also a certified mohel.
The commandment is upon the father to bring his son into the Covenant of Abraham. If the father didn't do it, it falls upon the son to fulfill the mitzvah when he become a Bar Mitzvah, 13 years old.
In Hebrew, the word use for foreskin is orlah. Orlah means "a barrier." The foreskin is a barrier to holiness. On a mystical level, it is a block to spiritual growth and understanding. On a physical level, the removal of the orlah is a reminder to control passions for the higher calling of guaranteeing one's continuity -- rather than to be drawn by impassioned lusts which can degrade and cause the downfall of a person. The goal is to be like God -- by using the physical for higher goals. One cannot orgy by night and be a tzadik (righteous person) by day.
The Sefer HaChinuch, a guide to the 613 commandments, elucidates a lesson from Bris Mila. Just like the Almighty gave us the ability to perfect the physical side, our bodies, through the removing of the foreskin, likewise we have the ability to perfect our spiritual side, our personality, our behavior.
Why has this mitzvah survived in strength while so many other mitzvot have fallen to the wayside by otherwise minimally observant Jews? Perhaps the answer is found in the 2,000 year old words of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, "Every mitzvah that they (the Jewish people) accepted upon themselves with joy ... they still perform with joy." (Talmud, Shabbos 130a). Deep in our collective psyche we know that the Jewish people is eternal, that we have a mission to be a "Light Unto the Nations" and to perfect the world, that the Almighty loves us and watches over us -- and that it is our great joy and privilege to be a part of that Covenant!

Subject: Lightning Strikes--see below

Another beautiful ceremony in Judaism is when a boy turns three. It is called an upsherin. (like shorn). We cut his hair, give him a shirt with tassels on and let him now he has to keep the mitzahs now.

Here was a friend or ours at his son's upsherin yesterday on the 16th, when Aura came home from Israel



Visit my Blog: