La brith milah

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La brit est un symbole physique de la relation entre Dieu et le peuple juif. Elle est un rappel constant de ce qu’implique la mission juive (un rappel dont les hommes ont plus besoin que les femmes).

Si la circoncision est ce que Dieu veut, pourquoi ne naissons-nous pas circoncis ?

Dieu a créé le monde imparfait et nous a donné pour mission de le perfectionner. Dieu a créé le blé, les humains en font du pain. Dieu a créé une jungle, les humains créent la civilisation. Les matières premières nous sont données, et il nous appartient d’employer notre ingéniosité à améliorer le monde dans lequel nous sommes nés. Ceci est symbolisé par la brit : nous naissons incirconcis et il nous appartient de « finir le travail ». Ceci est également vrai métaphoriquement : nous avons tous des instincts et des tendances naturelles qui sont innés et qui doivent être raffinés. « Je suis né comme ça » n’excuse pas le comportement immoral : nous devons nous défaire des traits négatifs, aussi innés qu’ils puissent paraître.

Quelle idée a eu Dieu de choisir la circoncision pour représenter
quelque chose de sacré ?


La spiritualité juive a pour objet de rendre saint le monde matériel. La façon dont nous mangeons, dormons, travaillons ou procréons doit être imprégnée de la même sainteté que celle avec laquelle nous prions. Nos maisons devraient être aussi sanctifiées que nos synagogues. Nous trouvons Dieu sur la terre tout autant (et peut-être plus) que dans les cieux. Nous mettons ainsi un signe sur l’organe le plus physique et potentiellement le plus bas pour dire qu’il peut et doit être utilisé d’une manière sainte. En fait, c’est dans la sexualité que nous pouvons atteindre le plus profond de notre âme, lorsque nous l’abordons avec sainteté.

Pourquoi circoncire un bébé ?

Cette affirmation ne serait-elle pas plus puissante si elle était faite sur un adulte ? La circoncision est effectuée quand un enfant n’est pas encore conscient de ce qui se passe. C’est parce que le lien entre les Juifs et Dieu est intrinsèque : que nous croyons consciemment en Dieu ou pas, que nos coeurs aiment Dieu ou pas, nos âmes connaissent Dieu. Nous pouvons rejoindre l’alliance avec Dieu, même sans être conscients de Lui parce que, inconsciemment, nous Le connaissons déjà.

Pourquoi précisément le huitième jour ?

Le chiffre sept représente la nature : les sept jours de la semaine, les sept couleurs de l’arc-en-ciel, les sept notes de musique (do, ré, mi, etc.) ; le nombre huit est celui qui dépasse sept et représente ainsi le miraculeux, ce qui dépasse la nature. Nous faisons la brit le huitième jour, car le peuple juif doit sa survie aux miracles. Notre histoire défie les lois de la nature. Nous accueillons un nouvel enfant juif dans cette existence miraculeuse le huitième jour de sa vie, comme pour dire : «Attendez-vous à des miracles !»

PAR ARON MOSS © Copyright Chabad.org’s


La cérémonie

Selon la tradition, le père demeure éveillé la nuit qui précède la brit, étudiant la Torah et récitant une sélection de passages du Zohar. La coutume est de ne pas inviter au Brit, mais de faire part aux gens du lieu et de l’heure. Le nouveau-né est amené et placé sur un siège nommé pour l’occasion « Chaise d’Élie le Prophète », lequel, d’après la tradition, assiste à chaque brit milah. Les parents demandent à un couple marié d’amener l’enfant : la mère confie l’enfant à la femme, qui le confie à son mari, qui le donne au père. Dans de nombreuses communautés, on évite de donner cette fonction à une femme enceinte. On accordera cet honneur en priorité à un couple sans enfant, car c’est une « Ségoula », un acte propice pour mériter d’avoir des enfants. L’homme porte un Talith. Tous les participants seront debout, sauf le « Sandak », celui qui tient l’enfant pendant la Brith Milah.

Le mohel récite la bénédiction et effectue la circoncision sur le bébé, qui repose sur les genoux du « sandak » (rôle considéré comme un grand honneur). Le père récite alors sa propre bénédiction, dans laquelle il remercie Dieu pour cette mitsva. Une prière est récitée, au cours de laquelle le garçon reçoit son prénom juif.

Après la Brith Milah et les bénédictions, les participants souhaitent : « De même qu’il est entré dans l’alliance, qu’ainsi il entre (sous le joug de) la Torah (au moment de ses 13 ans), dans l’alliance du mariage et des bonnes actions ». On organise un repas en l’honneur de la Brith Milah et on inclut dans le Birkat Hamazone (bénédictions après le repas) des bénédictions pour l’enfant, ses parents, le mohel (qui a effectué la circoncision), le Sandak et « Eliahou Hanavi », le prophète préposé à l’alliance de la Mila qui annoncera la venue de Machia’h.

Celui qui, pour une raison ou pour une autre, n’a pas été circoncis le huitième jour, devra se faire circoncire le plus tôt possible. Il faut pour cela prendre contact avec un mohel, qui réalisera cette intervention dans un bloc opératoire, accompagné d’un médecin.

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