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Seven: Days of Orlah and Canaanite Nations

Likutei Halachos on Parshas Tazria / Metzorah

Translated by Dov Grant 

Possuk 12:3 "He shall circumcise the flesh of his foreskin on the eighth day" 

Torah, the land of Israel and the mitzvah of milah (circumcision) - which is tikkun ha’bris (rectification of the covenant i.e. sexual misdemeanors) - are all bound together. It is only possible to merit the land of Israel through the mitzvah of milah, which is tikkun ha’bris. We see this in the verse: “He cut the bris/covenant with him to give him the Canaanite land”. Similarly, Rashi explains the verse in Joshua “and this is the matter/word that Joshua circumcised them”, to mean that he circumcised them through speech. Joshua said to them: “Do you think to inherit the land uncircumcised?”

This relates to the seven days of orlah/uncircumcised state that pass over the infant before his milah. It corresponds to the seven nations that were in possession of the land of Israel, before being transferred to the Jewish people once they performed circumcision. This is the meaning of the verse: “He cut with him the bris to give him the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite and Emorite”, and reckons all the seven nations that are exiled through tikkun ha’bris, corresponding to milah that is performed on the eighth day. For by the eighth day, all of the seven days of orlah have already passed over the infant, and chessed/loving kindness is revealed through the uncovering of the opening of the amah/reproductive member. This chessed, initially closed and hidden during the seven days of orlah, is revealed through milah. Through this we are able to conquer the land of Israel – for everything is bound together.

Yoreh Deah Hilchos Milah 3:5