I was bothered by the following question after reading the answer of the Panim Yafos: How is it that we are allowed to perform a bris milah today if in fact it violates the prohibition against wounding oneself or another? One cannot answer that when the wound serves a purpose, it is not prohibited – since in Avraham’s case there was a purpose even prior to his being commanded to do so. Perhaps one could suggest that after the commandment to perform a bris milah was instituted, we can apply the rule of assei docheh lo sa’aseh; thus one may perform a bris even though he is making a wound. This would explain why Avraham could not perform a bris prior to being commanded to do so, since we cannot apply the rule of assei docheh lo sa’aseh before there was a command to do that assei.
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