Love of the Land

People of The Land #21

Become a Supporter Library Library
Love of the Land

Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

"A National Brit"

The brit milah which is a cause for family celebration as a baby boy enters the sacred Covenant of Avraham was a national event twice in Jewish history.

In order to be worthy of redemption from Egyptian bondage all Jewish males, almost all of whom had been negligent in regard to this mitzvah as a result of assimilation, were circumcised. During their forty years of wandering in the wilderness the harsh climate and constant movement made circumcision dangerous and prevented an entire generation from fulfilling this mitzvah.

As soon as the Jews miraculously crossed the Jordan River into Eretz Yisrael their leader, Yehoshua, was commanded to carry out the second national brit milah. "Today I have removed the shame of Egypt from you," Hashem told Yehoshua in reference to the removal of the foreskin which distinguished them from the Egyptians. In commemoration of this national removal of shame the site where it took place was called Gilgal which means "removing".

Love of the Land Archives

Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Web Production: Binyamin Rosenstock
© 2002 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.

This publication is available via E-Mail
Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.

The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.

Copyright © 2002 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.
Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.