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“And the L-rd spoke to Moshe saying, Speak to the children of Israel saying, ‘If a woman have conceived seed and born a man child, then she shall be unclean seven days as in the days of her menstrual sickness shall she be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” (Leviticus 12:2-3).
The Talmud tells us Shabbat 135a that a woman who gives birth is impure after childbirth and if it is a boy he is to be circumcised on the eighth day. The question here is what is the connection between the impurity of a woman and circumcision of her son?
Rav Moshe Feinstein z”l explains in Drash Moshe that every Jewish male child must go through shabbos and then be circumcised. Even if the circumcision is on shabbos, the baby still needs to go through that shabbos. The reason is if we want to be educated in the mitzvos of the Torah then we must understand that it is imperative we are taught to believe in G-d! This is done through our observance of Shabbos which represents that G-d created the world from nothing and He runs it and sustains it. As we say in our prayers every day, G-d is the one who renews (present tense) creation on a daily basis and keeps the world functioning!
Understanding that G-d created the world from nothing and manages it can only be done when a person realizes that their life can be consumed by their desires which is impure. This means that we have to curb these instincts and purify our thoughts and actions so that we will be able to be educated properly. If a person doesn’t fight against their base desires then they will only be subservient to them, causing havoc in their lives.
A woman who doesn’t understand that at this time she is impure (even if this is natural) doesn’t understand the basics of why G-d created the world and what our purpose is. Therefore there is no benefit from the circumcision that it is done on the eighth day but rather it is for the purpose of education which is why this law is dependent on that day specifically.
We learn a very important lesson here and that is we have entrench in our children from a very young age that G-d is part of our lives and that He is in control! Even if our lives are difficult, He is the one putting us in this position so that we will be able to reach our true potential. While G-d’s ways are hidden, we will be shown why we had to go through certain things and it will be made clear what the measure for measure is.
Unfortunately in this world it is very clouded and difficult to fathom why things happen and G-d’s ways are truly hidden which makes that impossible. At the same time, we have to understand that everything happens for a reason even if we can’t fathom what it is!
May we merit to always serve G-d properly regardless of whatever situation we are in.
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