Love of the Land

For the week ending 30 November 2019 / 2 Kislev 5780

The Arizal and the Brit Milah

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Become a Supporter Library Library

The famous leader of the kabbalists in Tsefat, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (A doneinu R av Y itzchak), came to that city after living for years in Egypt. He is also known, with dearness and awe, as “The Arizal.”

Tradition has it, however, that he was actually born in Jerusalem, to extremely righteous parents. The Prophet Eliyahu told his father that he should not allow the brit milah of his son to take place until he appeared to him in the synagogue. When the time of the brit arrived, Eliyahu had still not appeared. No one among the assembled guests understood the reason for the delay, since the mohel, the father and the baby were all there. The father ignored the mounting cries to start the brit — until Eliyahu finally arrived.

The prophet, who traditionally arrives at every brit in invisible form, was this time seen taking the baby in his arms and informing his father that he should take special care of his son, for he would be a light to all Israel and the entire world.

© 1995-2023 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Love of the Land

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.