I wrote an article for this book about Bris Milah, on the subject of 8 reasons for our having gratitude for this Mitzvah. This is the third part of this series of sharing this article here.
A third reason to be grateful for Milah stems from Avraham Avinu waiting at the gates of Gehinnom to protect his circumcised descendants from being trapped there (Eruvin 19a). R Luria notes that Gehinnom has no dominion over Milah, as evidenced in the “Hotel incident” after the burning bush (Shemos 4:24-26), when Moshe Rabbenu was consumed by angels trying to kill him over delaying his son’s circumcision (Rashi 4:24, Nedarim 32a). Zipporah thought Moshe was to die for having violated the prohibition against having relations with an Aramis (herself) for which the punishment is death. However, when she realized that the angels left his Milah untouched, she realized the solution to the problem was to circumcise her son. In this light, our gratitude for Milah is to be protected from Gehinnom.
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