The 8 and the circumcision

The circumcision takes place when a boy-child is eight days old. The original commandment of the circumcision was given immediately after Abram and Sarai received the change in their names. As noted in (See hyperlink The Act of Creation and the change of names Abram and Sarai) the change of name caused the ‘crystal of creation’ to be added to both Abraham and Sarah thereby making them both fertile. However before the act of conception took place it was critical that not only Abraham, but also all his household was circumcised:

This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you; Every male child among you shall be circumcised: And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you: And he who is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male child in your generations, he who is born in the house, or bought with money from any stranger, who is not of your seed: (Genesis 17:10-12)

The question arises why does the circumcision take place on the 8th day, i.e. what is special about the eight above other numbers for the circumcision and why does it repeats itself in the number of days of Hanukah; the 8th day after Succoth when the Torah is received and 800 which is the gematrical value for ‘Rainbow’ in the story of Noah (See hyperlink Noah)?

Eight, shemoneh spelt שמנה in Hebrew is related to the word for oil, shemen, שמנ which has the same Gematrical value as Heaven, shamyim שמים and which is 390. (See hyperlink Hanukah).

Oil is also related to the word masach, which is ‘anointing oil’ as in messiah, ‘the anointed one’.

So the circumcision takes place on the eighth day to make the ‘covenant’ with God in Heaven and that covenant is inscribed in the letter heh ה with its value of 5 and is the crystal of creation, the semen. So that the act of procreation ensures that every living soul henceforth will carry forward that covenant. So it is said:

And the uncircumcised male child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant: (Genesis 17:14)

This, in turn, is linked to the phrase ‘be fruitful and multiply’ which has a gematrical value of 500 (See hyperlink be fruitful and multiply) where the overall purpose of our bodies is to reproduce. In fact our body is merely a vehicle and receptacle for the soul, the neshama. The neshama enters at birth, stays until the body wears down and dies and then leaves to go into a new body. Meanwhile the body itself, unlike a car, has the unique ability to reproduce itself and produce more bodies. So the term be fruitful and multiply is a mechanism by which the neshama can reach the next world, the world of the 500.

Hence our own self development during our lifetime can be seen as a process by which the neshama proceeds through a spiral of birth, death and rebirth. And with each cycle it enters a new body. The evolution and development of mankind through each successive generation is effectively the process of evolution of the neshama. So the term be fruitful and multiply is an essential part of this process of evolution of mankind as a whole where knowledge is passed from father to son, generation to generation and so on .

However the question still arises: why does the circumcision occur on the 8th day? What is special about ‘8th day’?

The 8th day is after the 7th, the Sabbath which is turn is celebrated after 6 days of work where our consciousness is fixed to this physical plane. The purpose of the 7th day is not only a day of rest, but more important, to prepare ourselves for the next world, the world of the 8th day which is a new cycle of consciousness. So, on the Sabbath we allow our consciousness to transcend the physical needs of this world by placing a geder or fence around our existence for that day.

Just as 7+1=8, so 7x7 +1=50. Hence the 7th day is in preparation for the 8th next world and 49th day (7x7) is in preparation for the 50th which is the Yuvel, the Jubilee. It is the time after 49 years, of renewal, of return, and of change. The next decane beyond 50 is 500. So too 500 represents the next step beyond the 400 (the highest level of spiritual development in this phenomenal world), and takes us to the next world.

So the circumcision on the eighth day has a very profound concept behind it attaching itself to the fundament of existence and our relationship with God. The circumcision, the covenant between man and God based upon the fundamental function of our bodies to reproduce implants itself in the very process of life, death and rebirth.

Notably Ishmael was not circumcised on the eighth day but on the 13th year. This too bears significance inasmuch that 13 is the numerical value of the word achad meaning 1 (spelt: aleph-cheth-daled אחד = 1-8-4 =13). Thus in our daily prayers we speak of the 13 qualities of God because they represent His essential quality of ‘oneness’. So through the process of circumcision Ishmael may return to the ‘one’ or be reunited with the ‘one’.


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