30 Oct 2014 Parshas Lech Licha
In this week’s Parsha, the Torah tells us (Bereishis 17:23,26) that Avraham performed the mitzvah of milah בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה – in the middle of that very day. What is the significance of Avraham performing bris milah in the middle of the day?
Rashi (Devarim 32:48) notes that there are three times of significance that this phrase is used: (1) When Noach entered the ark, the Torah says it was in the middle of that very day – for the people of that time swore that if they saw Noach entering the ark, they would stop him. Said Hashem, you think you will stop him? And Noach entered in the middle of the day! (2) When it came time for the Israelites to leave Egypt, the Egyptians swore that if the slaves tried to flee, they would surely stop them. Said Hashem, you think you will stop My children from marching to freedom? And the Israelites left Egypt in the middle of the day! (3) When it came time for Moshe to die, the nation swore and said, if we perceive our leader Moshe is about to die, we will surely stop him. Said Hashem, you think you will stop him? And Moshe ascended to Har Navo in the middle of the day.
How can we apply this teaching to our Parsha and Avraham Avinu?
Avraham was a visionary – the first of his time to recognize the Creator. Gd spoke, Abraham listened. Perhaps, the idol worshippers of the time said: if he tries to enter into a special covenant with this G-d that he believes in, we will stop him from this madness! Said Avraham – you think you will stop me from performing the mitzvah of Hashem? And Avraham did as Hashem told him to do, and performed bris milah, in the middle of that very day!
To be a servant of G-d is to follow His instructions. We have to be courageous enough and dedicated enough, with deep faith and trust, to perform His mitzvos – even when the world is against us… Just as our first forefather, Avraham Avinu, performed bris milah בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה.
Wishing you a good Shabos!