Say the word Bris or Brit (like the Sephardic pronunciation) and the first thing that comes to mind is a baby and a celebration.
Truthfully, the Bris is much deeper than a happy occasion worth celebrating. It’s a covenant beyond understanding. Never to be changed, no matter what happens!
Going back to the time of Avraham, the father of the entire Jewish Nation, HaShem made a special covenant with him. It was called Bris Bein HaBesorim – “The Covenant of the Pieces,” and it represented that special bond between HaShem and His people, forever and ever!
A covenant (Bris) is a deal or a pact, in which two parties agree to do something (like be friends) no matter what.
Let’s take a look at another famous Bris:
Perhaps the most famous friendship in Tanach was between Dovid HaMelech, and Yehonasan, the son of Shaul HaMelech. This friendship started before Dovid became king. Our Rabbis in Pirkei Avos brought this bond as a prime example of an unconditional friendship.
Although Dovid and Yehonasan were the best of friends, better than you can ever imagine, they still decided to make a covenant between them! Why?!
They knew that, inevitably, there would be shaky times ahead of them, which may challenge their continued friendship. That’s why they made a covenant – a rock-solid COMMITMENT that their deep friendship would never be broken… EVER!
Look up the story in the Book of Shmuel and you’ll see how much their friendship was challenged and how they remained the best of friends! So, the covenant worked!
And so does our Bris Milah work. It reminds the Jewish people of our unshakable bond with HaShem… FOREVER.
And what about women? Do they also have an eternal bond between themselves and HaShem? Why don’t they have some sort of covenant of their own?
That’s a great question!
Actually, the Rabbis of the Talmud say that the moment a baby girl is born it’s as if she already had a Bris Milah. That means that right away, even younger than 8 days old, she already had this covenant with HaShem… without an actual Bris! Perhaps this is because of the higher spiritual level of women. They don’t need the reinforcements that men need.