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Positive Commandment 215


The 215th mitzvah is that we are commanded to perform circumcision.

The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement1 (exalted be He) to Avraham, "You must circumcise every male."

The Torah clearly states that the punishment for one who does not fulfill this mitzvah is kares.2 The source for this is G‑d's statement3 (exalted be He), "The uncircumcised male whose foreskin has not been circumcised, shall be punished by kares."

The details of this mitzvah are explained in the 19th chapter of Shabbos4 and the 4th chapter of Yevamos.5

A woman is not obligated regarding her son's circumcision as a father is so obligated, as explained in Kiddushin.6


Gen. 17:10.


This applies only when the individual's father has not circum­cised him, and his entire life has passed without him circum­cising himself.

See Principle 14, where the Rambam defines kores as losing one's portion in the World to Come (unless the person does teshuvah before death). See also Hilchos Teshuvah, Chapter 8, Halachah. 1.


Gen. 17:14.







Rabbi Berel Bell is a well-known educator, author and lecturer. He and his family reside in Montreal, Canada.
From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
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