subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | Parsha Homepage


" And Abraham was 99 when he was circumcised...." (17:24)

In Menachos 53b , it states the following:" King David once went into the bathhouse and saw himself naked. He said, "Woe is to me, for I am naked of all good deeds." He then saw the mark of circumcision on his body, and his mind was put to rest............"

A question can be asked on this statement. The Mitzvah of circumcision is primarily on the father to perform, so why was King David consoled with the "Milah" (Circumcision)? He was still devoid of good deeds? Since this very Mitzvah was not his, but his fathers?

The Torah is teaching us a very valuable lesson , as follows: When King David found himself naked in the physical sense, this feeling seemed to transcend to his spiritual realm as well. This frightened him. If we are to really analyze our deeds, we will ,perhaps, find alot lacking. The mere fact that he was in the bathhouse prompted these feelings. Yet, he still found solace in the fact that he was circumcised. Why? We all go through times in our lives when we feel a sense of "void". These times make us actually think about who we are and who we want to be. Its frightening at times.

Yet, King David is teaching us the foundation that will allow us to climb up from the pit. We must all realize that we have "ZECHUS AVOS" (Merit from our forbearers) dating back to Abraham himself. Therefore, in actuality nobody is devoid of good deeds, our great and holy forbearers made sure of that. This is always a good starting point on our quest for greater levels of spirituality. We must somehow connect with Abraham, and rediscover what our true purpose is in this world. Although King David felt a sense of "nakedness" spiritually, he was consoled by knowing that he is a descendant of Abraham.

This gave him the neccesary boost to continue the struggle for further improvement. In a way , Abraham showed him the way out of despairing. King David realized his true mission in life from the "Milah", by being reminded of the great forefathers from whom he is descended from. When in despair, find solace in the fact that you are part of a great family of righteous men, namely Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They lived through many struggles, yet fully trusted in G-d.

Why should we be any different? Happiness and joy in knowing our noble lineage is always the place to begin .

Have a good Shabbos


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or
on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael
send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

Feedback is Appreciated at