Dvar Torah: Parshat Tazria
This week's parsha is Parshat Tazria. The parsha discusses what babies and their mothers should and should not do. It states, “On the eighth day the flesh of his [the male child] foreskin shall be circumcised.” After reviewing this pasuk a few times, I realized that it never explicitly identified this holy day as a Brit Milah. This led me to wonder... are we the ones who made up this name?
Well, no. As you probably know, there are 613 mitzvot that one should begin to complete on the day that they are born. One of the 613 mitzvot is circumcision. So, on the eighth day, the baby boy has already completed one mitzvah and only has 612 left. That one mitzvah is called Milah. And, 612 is the numerical value of Brit. Hence, we get the name Brit Milah.
As a boy grows up, he may forget about some of the other mitzvot in the Torah. Therefore, we must remind him of these mitzvot by using the name of the ceremony in which he performed his first mitzvah: his Brit Milah. One may think that performing a Brit Milah is a faint and unnoticed mitzvah, but in actuality, it’s one of the most important and memorable mitzvot a man can complete. Oftentimes, people think that they haven’t performed enough mitzvot, and they are left in fear. However, we actually do more than we think, and we should give ourselves the credit we deserve. Some may argue that women are considered to be "the holy ones" while men don't get enough credit for what they do. So, keep in mind that a Brit Milah is one of the most precious mitzvot that a man can conduct in order to connect with Hashem.