by Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
Bereishis 12:7 says that Avraham built a mizbeach to Hashem. Rashi explains that he was saying thanks for the fact that he was told that he will have children and get Eretz Yisroel. The Ramban says that this was a korban Toda. The question is; why didn’t Avraham bring a Toda when was saved from the fires of Kasdim, when Numrod threw him into the fire?
The answer is that the Mechilta in Parshas Bo 1:4 says that until Yerushalayim was chosen as the location for the Bais Hamikdosh one was able to bring a korban anywhere in Eretz Yisroel. This would be the reason Avraham could not bring a toda for being saved from the fires as he had yet to arrive in Eretz Yisroel. That is why the posuk says “Vayiven sham,” he built there, as it was not the first time he could bring a korban to Hashem.
The Gemara in Nedarim 32b explains that Avram had his name changed to Avraham because initially Hashem made him the ruler on 243 limbs and afterward he added five more limbs, the two eyes, two ears and the milah. The Ran explains that initially Hashem had Avraham rule over the limbs he was in control over. Seeing and hearing were beyond his control. Only after the bris did Hashem give him the capability to only hear and see mitzvos.
The medrash in Bereishis 15:5 it says Hashem took Avraham outside and told him to go out from his mazal; according to his mazal he couldn’t have children, so he should go out from that and don’t let mazal apply to you. The mazal changed by the fact that Hashem changed both Avraham and Sarah’s names. This change took place during the Mitzvah of Milah.
The Yerushalmi in Moed Koton 3:7 tells us that for a whole year after a person dies it is considered as if the midas hadin is over the house. It is as if there is a sword outstretched over the house. Reb Lazer says that if a male child is born, the whole family is healed. The Tur in Yoreh Deah 394 brings down the Yerushalmi and the Prisha 6 that says that this applies only if a male child is born, not a female. The Maharshal in Teshuvos 70 says that when one is an onen and also has a son who needs a bris, he should do the bris first, despite the fact that an onen is pattur from all mitzvos. The reason an onen is pattur from mitzvos is so that the onen could take care of the dead person without distractions. Since having a bris diffuses the midas hadin, it is kavod for the meis to do the bris.
The bris is so powerful because the bris stands for the dismissal of a bad mazal as we see it helped Avraham Avinu. That is pshat in the posuk in Dvarim 18:13 that says, “You shall go with temimus and not look to figure out the future.” The temimus is referring to milah. Hashem told Avraham to do milah and “you will be tamim.” Milah knocks off the mazal so we have no need to look for the future to see what the mazal will bring.
May we be zocheh that our mazal be changed to one of redemption and may we be able to bring korbanos, especially the Toda in the Bais Hamikdash!
P.S There is available a great resource for reviewing or learning the daf and yerushalmi amud yomi you can ask to join by either texting 7185772401 or clicking this link https://chat.whatsapp.com/ICOJi1X9liuDZ9FR8wuxNo or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for archives of the shiur or to download it visit this link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-1WKLHscMKmlXIumNqU8Aa0FePKfQlqY?usp=sharing_eip&ts=5e135c10 or by going to https://jewishpodcasts.fm/rabbisteinfeld or by going to Alldaf.org and clicking https://alldaf.org/search?q=steinfeld or searching in the Alldaf App for Steinfeld.