The Torah says: “HaShem spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be unclean seven days; she shall be unclean as at the time of her menstrual infirmity. — 3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” [Lev 12:1-3]
This week we have a double reading. Tazria (She shall conceive) and Metzora (tradition/ritual). Tazria deals with childbirth purification laws, circumcision and laws concerning diseases of the skin. Metzora continues dealing with further diseases and mould in the home. I will focus on Tazria.
There is debate between Jews and Non-Jews and even to some extent within the Jewish community as to the necessity of circumcision. Those who argue against it state that it causes unnecessary pain to boys. Many Christians state that circumcision was done away with in the Besorah HaTova (Good News).
Bereshit / Genesis 17:10, 11 states “Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and your offspring to follow which you shall keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.”
HaShem clearly commands us to be circumcised. What about Paul’s (Shaul’s) writing in the Besorah Hatova. We see in Acts 16: 1-3 that Shaul Circumcised Timothy. “He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
Personally I believe that Torah is true and as such we must do all that it says. This is also true of circumcision. The reason for the confusion between Jews and Non-Jews is the fact that non-Jews view circumcision as something leading to salvation when the truth is HaShem required it for the purpose of sanctification.
When Paul said “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” [ICor 7:19] What people fail to realize is that Paul was not condemning circumcision. He was circumcised and had Timothy also circumcised. It would have been hypocritical for him to speak against circumcision.
What he was speaking against was the fact that some were saying that circumcision was a means to salvation.
HaShem said that circumcision was to be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. It was to sanctify the Jewish people, to set them apart, not to save them.
Even our Rabbi, Maran Yeshua was circumcised “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Yeshua, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.” [Luke 2:21]
Therefore, the bottom line is if we want to follow HaShem and obey the Torah we must obey the mitzvah (command) of circumcision.
Note: Brit milah (Hebrew: בְּרִית מִילָה [b'rīt mī'lā], Sephardi pronunciation, berit milah; Ashkenazi pronunciation, bris milah, "covenant of circumcision"; Yiddish, bris) is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel ("circumciser"). This happens on the eighth day of the child’s life unless health reasons or certain specific conditions pertaining to the date, time, and conditions of birth vis-a-vis the Sabbath and/or holidays force a delay, in the presence of family and friends, followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah).
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