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Question - - 02/28/2013
Why are we commanded to perform bris milah (circumcision)? Couldn’t the Creator have formed man perfectly in the first place, without the need to circumcise male babies?
Answer by Arachim
The world we live in is a world of trials and tests for man. Over one's lifetime here, an individual is given many tasks to perform that have a profound spiritual significance.

Consequently, the Creator left room for man to play a role in bringing himself to perfection, in both the physical and the spiritual sense. Rather than creating man as a completely righteous, angelic being, He left us the task of perfecting our character through our own efforts.

To guide us in this life-long undertaking, He has provided us with a "user's manual", the Torah and its commandments, the mitzvos. The overall goal of our mitzvos is to serve as partners of the Creator in bringing man and his world to their ideal state. Each time we fulfill one of the Torah's commandments, or overcome our inclination to fulfill our material desires, we again testify that the world was created to achieve spiritual, not physical achievements.

Similarly, the Creator commanded that a baby boy be brought to physical perfection by his parents through bris milah so that the father and mother might also have a share in elevating their new child. The act of circumcision, when performed as prescribed by Jewish law in order to fulfill the Creator's command, is the first step toward a life that will lead to accomplishments in Torah, to a successful marriage, and to good deeds in this world.

It is important to keep in mind that the essence of the mitzvos and their
ramifications in physical and spiritual spheres are concealed from us. The full impact of each of the commandments is revealed only to Him who gave it to us. As the prophet put it so graphically, thousands of years ago: "For as the Heavens are high above the earth, so are My ways higher that your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts." (Isaiah 25)
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