Above the Above


The Bris is the connection with G-d himself. This means that everything we do must be imbued with a sense that it is His. Even elements of our life that naturally make sense and are desirable must also be desirable because that it is the will of the Almighty.

Even before Abraham received the commandment to perform the Bris, he knew of its significance and its holiness; he kept every G-dly commandment before it was even asked of him. Yet Abraham decided to withhold convening the Covenant of the Bris until he received explicit instructions to do so.

Superficially this conveys an inherent weakness; he could not bring himself to such a reality where he did everything that G-d wants without being told. Anybody who has ever been in relationship or a deep friendship knows that true connection means that one knows what the other desires and does it without being asked. It begs the question, was Abraham’s divine connection lacking somehow that he needed to be told?  Not so.

The Kabbalistic sages describe Abraham as the penultimate spiritual human being, he was so in tune with the Divine that he’s referred to as a Chariot for it since he had no will other than what the Almighty wanted. As such he knew that fundamentally anything that he did based on his sensitivity for the Divine Will, would always be limited in that the initiation came from his own perception.

Everything that we sense and accomplish is done on our own terms, what we sense as being good we do and what we sense as the opposite we avoid. As deep as this sensitivity runs, it is lacking in the fact that it’s human. If we want to go above our own understanding and live in the true reality, we must realize that good is good and evil is evil not based on our own perceptions, but rather based on what the Almighty determines. Sometimes it might not be rational or have a basis that we can relate to.

This is why Abraham held off forging the covenant of the Bris until he was commanded to do so. Such a deep connection cannot be forged based on our understanding and sensitivity, it would be impossible to do so, only G-d could allow such a deep connection to exist.

This principle applies to us as well. There are many benefits of performing the Bris, for health, controlling our basic drives and even a more spiritual life, but all of these aspects fall short of the fact that it is what the Almighty wants from us. Beyond the Bris this means that everything that we do must be permeated with a divine awareness that regardless of the good that we relate to, it only scratches the surface when we realize that it is what is desired from us. Whether it is basic kindness, care, charity or diminishing our own animalistic egos, we can always try to go beyond and above, but with this awareness we can truly be above the above

Signing off,

Rabbi Yehoshua Levin, Certified Mohel


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