Sunday, November 05, 2006

From MM - Parashat Lech-l'cha: When in doubt.

When in doubt.

We know that the Commandments that we are supposed to keep are a mere reflection of what G^d Himself does. So does He keep Shabbat and wear Phylacteries, etc?

This Portion we read about Abra(ha)m being commanded to the covenant of the circumcision. How would G^d do this? The excuse that He doesn't have a body doesn't help; He also doesn't get tired, but keeps Shabbat; He also doesn't have a head but wears Phylacteries anyway. So what about circumcision? Maybe thinking about it is more important than finding a certain answer.

One way is to say: this Holy circumcision has two goals: to perfect the man and as a sign of the Covenant. He made many other covenants with the Jews and He is already perfect. On the latter point: also a Jewish baby boy that is born without a foreskin or a prospective male convert without a foreskin get a symbolic needle prick - one drip of blood is drawn in parallel to the normal procedure. Does G^d do such a prick?

I'll give you a few possible, quick answers, but no doubt many are possible. The circumcision is perfecting by removal, and not just perfecting: making things Holy: setting aside for a higher purpose. So, we could say that the withdrawal (tzimtzum) that the omnipresent G^d did to allow for the world to exist was his circumcision, because that set Him aside. We could say that the generation of the Flood was the foreskin, and by removing that a better result came forth, but that sounds more as a circumcision of the world, which is not the same for non-pantheists.

We could think about when He would need to do this. Eight days after His birth is ridiculous since G^d was not born and always existed. Let me suggest that only after He created Man in His image He exists as G^d for man; like a baby also exists before birth but we only start counting after we see him. Eight days later He should then do it. But as we learn in Psalm
90:4: a day for us is a thousand years for Him. That means that after the world will come to perfection (in 6000 years) and rested (another 1000 years) the circumcision of G^d would take place, coinciding with the Revival of the dead.

Let's talk some more about this at that party.


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