Parashat Tazria

Better Than God?

The ritual of circumcision allows us to partner with God in the covenant and also in perfecting creation.

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And so it is with brit milah. The natural order does not expect or even encourage circumcision. If it did, a baby boy would enter the world circumcised, as Akiba reasoned. Hence brit milahis our distinct mitzvah, an act we perform to elevate and even perfect the divine works of creation, and in so doing, we elevate and perfect our distinctive corner of God’s world.

Thus, by performing the act of circumcision, we complete God’s plan. We become God’s partners not only in this expression of our ancient covenant but also in the ongoing creation of the world.

Provided by the Union of Reform Judaism, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America.

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David Goldstein is the rabbi of Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, La.