Love of the Land

People of The Land #21

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Love of the Land

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

YEHOSHUA -
"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
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