Friday, Jan 14, 2022

Megillah 20: Our Perpetual Connection

On this daf, we find a teaching about bris milah.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe described the meaning of bris milah in his usual eloquent manner: “Through bris milah, an eight-day-old child enters Judaism. We say in the brocha after the bris, ‘ubriso som bivsoreinu—He placed His bris in our flesh.’ Spirituality for Jews is not to be found in a monastery, separated from the world. Everywhere a Jew is, G-d is with him. Hashem is connected to the Jewish people through the bris, the covenant that He will never nullify our special bond. Even if the Jewish people rebel and transgress the Torah, there is no way to annul our unique status. Hashem is close to us and we are close to Him no matter what.

“We speak to Hashem in the first person, boruch Atah, since we do not require any intermediary. A rov is a posek and a moreh derech who shows us how to act, yet he himself is completely under the authority of the Torah, just like any other Jew. He has no power to do what he wants, permitting what the Torah forbade or forgiving sins. We go directly to Hashem and confess our sins to Him. Even the kohanim who offered sacrifices on our behalf must always remain aware that they are messengers of the All Merciful One. Although they bless us during Birkas Kohanim, they verse still states, ‘Place My name on Yisroel and I will bless them.’ They can act only because that is Hashem’s desire. He is the ultimate Source of all blessing and atonement” (Olam Hayedidus, p. 16).

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