web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Punishment Of Not Performing A Bris

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

In this week’s parshah, Hashem commands Avraham in the mitzvah of bris milah. The pasuk says that if one does not perform a bris he will be chayav kares. The Rambam writes in Hilchos Milah (1:2) that one who did not have a bris milah performed when he was a child must do so when he is an adult. He is mevatel a mitzvas assei every day that he delays doing so. The Rambam adds that one who deliberately does not have a bris milah is not chayav kares until he dies. The Raavad takes issue with the Rambam’s last point, saying that one is chayav kares during every second of every day that he does not have a bris milah.

There is a famous question that is asked on the Raavad’s opinion. Whenever one is chayav misah at the same time that he is obligated to pay money, he is exempt from paying the money. This is known as kim lei bi’derabba minei – it suffices to give the more stringent punishment. Rabi Nechunya ben Hakana (Kesubos 30a) opines that we apply the halacha of kim lei bi’derabba minei to the punishment of kares. That is to say that if one is chayav kares at the same time as he is obligated to pay money, he will be exempt from paying the money. It should then result from the Raavad’s opinion that one who did not perform a bris milah will be exempt from paying for anything that he damages. The Acharonim find this to be unlikely.

The Steipler (Kehillas Yaakov Shabbos, siman 29) writes that even according to the Rambam, who says that one is not chayav kares until he dies if he deliberately did not have a bris milah, he has the aveirah of kares; he is just not chayav kares. For example, if one kills accidentally he has transgressed the aveirah of killing – but is not chayav for it. The halacha is that we still apply kim lei bi’derabba minei on one who commits an aveirah that theoretically could have given him death but spares him from receiving the punishment of death. For instance, if one kills accidentally while damaging another person, he is exempt from reimbursing him for the damages. Therefore the question that was asked on the opinion of the Raavad can also be asked on the Rambam.

The Sha’ar Hamelech brings a shita mekubetzes in Kesubos 36a that says that if one does an action that obligates him in the death penalty and beis din finds him guilty, we cannot apply kim lei bi’derabba minei to any actions that he performs thereafter. Once he is chayav misah, his second action of misah cannot exempt him from money. Based on this opinion the question does not start, for once this fellow did not perform a bris at the first possible opportunity he is already chayav kares. Any further obligations cannot exempt him from paying monetary debts.

Some Acharonim suggest another solution. The kares of not performing a bris milah (and for not bringing a korban Pesach) is different from other transgressions for which one is chayav kares. Regarding all other transgressions, the kares is a punishment for a wrong action that was performed. Concerning the kares of not performing a bris milah (and for not bringing a korban Pesach), one is chayav kares for not performing an action. We can only apply kim lei bi’derabba minei if one performed an action for which he would be chayav misah or kares at the same time as he incurs monetary obligations. Since the kares that one receives for not performing a bris milah comes without having performed an action, we cannot apply kim lei bi’derabba minei.

Others suggest that the kares that one is obligated in for not performing a bris milah (and for not bringing a korban Pesach) differs in its nature from a general kares obligation. Generally kares is similar to a death sentence, except that it is not carried out by beis din. The kares of not performing a bris milah (and for not bringing a korban Pesach) is more like a punishment for not doing what one was told to do; not a death sentence type of kares.

The proof that they bring for this is that if one performs a bris later on, he is no longer chayav kares. Where do we find that one can be chayav misah or chayav kares but then rectify the situation by performing another action? Never. Once one is obligated, the obligation never comes off. This is proof that when one is chayav kares for not performing a bris milah (and for not bringing a korban Pesach), it is not a death sentence. That is why it can be removed later on. Since it is not a death sentence, we cannot apply the halacha of kim lei bi’derabba minei.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Punishment Of Not Performing A Bris

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Convicted murderer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Ab-Jamal.
Convicted Cop-Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is College Commencement Speaker
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

PTI-092614-Shofar

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

They ask, how can Rabbeinu Gershom forbid marrying more than one wife, when the Torah explicitly permits it in this parshah?

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-punishment-of-not-performing-a-bris/2013/10/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: