The earth seemed to move with me. I found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never knew existed. -Roger Bannister
The first commandment given to the proto-Israelite nation, in the form of our patriarch Abraham is circumcision, the Brit Mila. I don’t believe it is coincidental, that of all the myriad of commandments in our tradition, circumcision is perhaps the most widely practiced to this very day, although it has fallen under attack in isolated venues.
The Sfat Emet on Parashat Lech Lecha, writing in 5636 (1876) explains that a person is composed of two forces. Man has a spiritual force that is present in his body in this world, but he also possesses a spiritual force in the upper metaphysical realm that is independent of his body. For a man specifically, (as opposed to a woman), the Brit Mila (literally, the Covenant of the Circumcision), is a ritual that creates a connection between these two forces, in a way binding them together, and granting the person access to an otherwise unprecedented amount of spiritual power. When a Jewish male has a Brit Mila, he has the capacity to reach completeness, to be existentially whole.
However, it seems there is really only one way to activate this incredible power, and it is an aspect that is intrinsic to the covenant between the Jewish people and God. The key to accessing that storehouse of spiritual energy is the Torah. Learning the Torah, becoming acquainted with the Torah, knowing the Torah and living the Torah allows a person to tap into that infinite power that was used for the creation of the universe. The divine guidebook for our lives has a much deeper and pervasive effect than one might imagine. And it is there for the taking.
May we grow in our spiritual capacities and power, using that ancient yet entirely relevant guide, the Torah.
To The Shabbos Project.