web analytics
August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Rabbi Norman Lamm of Yeshiva University
Emes Ve-Emunah: Living Up to the Ideals of Modern Orthodoxy
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

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

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

We can suggest that since Hashem Himself appointed Dovid there is no question. The rules are only in place for when we must chose a king ourselves.

Perhaps a careful reading of the pesukim in the parsha will shed light on this dilemma.

The second parshah of Shema is referring to keeping the rest of the mitzvos, and there the Torah does not require that one spend all of his money in order to perform the mitzvos.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

We do not find that Pinchas was chastised for what he did; on the contrary he was greatly rewarded.

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

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: