Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Thirteen Brisos

The Sefas Emes zt”l explains that bris means connection, and the way we connect to our Creator is by emulating His ways. The thirteen brisos the gemara tells us were made over millah, parallel Hashem’s thirteen attributes of mercy, for those supernal middos are awakened by repentance from below. Milah gives us the power to rectify our middos through teshuvah and compassionate thought, speech, and action.

The six days of the week relate to this mundane world, and Shabbos is a taste of the world to come. The eighth day is even higher—it represents the teshuvah described above. This level of teshuvah is even higher than Shabbos, and this is why the “milah of thirteen covenants” supersedes Shabbos.

Once, Rav Shlomo Kluger zt”l was invited to be sandek at a bris. He made certain to arrive on time, but after what seemed an interminable delay, he began to wonder aloud what was holding things up. “Where is the baby? Why are we waiting?” The answer he received was very disconcerting. “The father is deathly ill, and it seems as though he could pass away any moment. The family is just waiting for the inevitable so that the baby can take his father’s name.”

Rav Kluger’s heated response shocked everyone present into action. “Bring the baby at once, there is not a moment to lose!” At the Rav’s insistence, the milah was performed without further delay. After the bris, the Rav entered the sickroom to wish the father mazel tov. He then explained himself to the rest of the family. “I could not force the angel of healing to come exclusively for the father’s sake—such a thing was beyond my ability. I figured that he has to come when we do the bris to assist the mohel and heal the newborn, however. So once we already had him in the house, I was able to ask that he go into the next room to heal the father.” To compound the family’s joy, the father enjoyed a complete recovery. After a mere three days, he was already well enough to go to shul!


Spiritual Dan said...

I don't understand - if the Rav had waited for the father to pass, then the angel of healing would have come purely for the sake of the child?

Micha Golshevsky said...

Shalom uverachah!
At every bris an angel comes to heal the child. The Rav took advantage of this opportunity to cause a yeshuah for the father too. Possibly a good part of this was the merit of his son receiving a bris which is an extremely powerful time since by making a bris, the father brings a korban to Hashem in a sense (as it says in many seforim.)

Freshly said...

schoach! thanks.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Bisimcha rabbah, thanks for the chizuk!