THE GREATNESS OF CIRCUMCISION
Answer: It is because he involved himself in arranging lodging for the night before circumcising - "On the way, at the lodging place..."
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, Hash-m did not seek to kill Moshe, rather the baby - "You are a Chasan of blood to me."
The baby is called a Chasan (for circumcision is his first Mitzvah).
(R. Yehudah bar Bizna): When Moshe slackened from circumcising his son, the damaging angels Af and Cheimah swallowed his entire body, except for his legs.
Immediately, Tziporah circumcised her son with a rock, and the angels left Moshe alone.
At that point, Moshe sought to kill them - "Desist from Af and abandon Cheimah".
Some say that he killed Cheimah - "I do not have Cheimah".
Question: But (at a later time) Moshe said "I was afraid of Af and Cheimah"!
Answer #1: There were two angels called Cheimah.
Answer #2: He was afraid of the legions of Cheimah.
(Beraisa - Rebbi): Circumcision is great. No one engaged in Mitzvos as Avraham, yet he was called complete only when he circumcised himself - "Walk in front of me and be perfect... I will put Berisi between Me and you".
Also, it is great, for it is equal to all the Mitzvos of the Torah - "Based to these matters (I made a Bris with you)";
Also, it is great, for if not for it, Shamayim and earth would not last - "If not for Berisi day and night".
This opposes R. Elazar.
(R. Elazar): Torah is great. If not for it, Shamayim and earth would not last - "If not for Berisi day and night, I would not have made Shamayim and earth".
(Rav Yehudah): When Hash-m told Avraham "Walk in front of Me and be perfect", Avraham was afraid - 'Perhaps there is something detestable about me'!
When Hash-m said "I will put Berisi between us" he was assuaged.
ACTING IN PURITY
"He (Hash-m) took him (Avraham) outside" - Avraham had told Hash-m 'I see in my Mazal that I will not have a son".
Hash-m - Leave your astrology. There is no Mazal for Yisrael.
(R. Yitzchak): Anyone who acts purely with Hash-m, Hash-m acts purely with him - "With a Chasid you bestow Chesed; with a Tahor man you are Tahor".
(R. Hoshaya): We learn, whoever purifies his character will rise to greatness.
It says, "Walk in front of me and be perfect", and then "You will be the father of a multitude of nations".
(Rebbi): Anyone who engages in Nichush (acts according to omens) will be affected by them - "Lo (to him) there is Nichush".
Objection: "Lo" is written with an Aleph. It means 'No'!
Correction: Rather, he will be affected by them because Hash-m treats people according to their actions.
(Ahavah, R. Zeira's son): Anyone who does not do Nichush merits a greater closeness to Hash-m than the ministering angels - "Yisrael do not do Nichush; there is no sorcery in Yisrael (and the angels will ask Yisrael about Hash-m's actions)".
Question (R. Avahu): Why was Avraham punished that his children should be enslaved for 210 years in Mitzrayim?
Answer #1 (R. Avahu): It is because he used Chachamim to fight in war - "He armed his trained ones, those born in his house".
Answer #2 (Shmuel): It is because he questioned Hash-m's ways too much - "With what will I know that I will inherit (Eretz Yisrael)?"
Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): "Give me the people, and keep the spoils" - Avraham returned captives to the king of Sodom, instead of keeping them to bring them to serve Hash-m.
(Rav): "He armed his trained ones, those born in his house" - he loaded them with Torah;
(Shmuel): He loaded them with gold (to entice them to fight).
Version #1 (R. Ami bar Aba): "Three hundred and 18" - Avraham's slave Eliezer was equal to all of them;
Version #2: Really, only Eliezer aided Avraham in the war;
The Torah says 318, for this is the Gematriya (numerical value) of 'Eliezer'.
(R. Ami bar Aba): Avraham was three years old when he recognized Hash-m - "Eikev (because) you listened to my voice";
The Gematriya of Eikev is 172. (Avraham served Hash-m the last 172 of his 175 years.)
(R. Ami bar Aba): The numerical value of 'ha'Satan' (the accuser) is 364. (He prosecutes all days of the year except for one - Yom Kipur.)
(R. Ami bar Aba): Hash-m changed Avram's name to Avraham.
At first, Hash-m gave Avram dominion over 243 of his limbs (the Gematriya of Avram). Later, Hash-m gave him control over the last five as well - the eyes, ears and male organ.
(R. Ami bar Aba): "A small city and few men..." - the city is the human body; the few men are the limbs;
"A great king came and surrounded the city" - this is the Yetzer Ra (evil inclination);
"He built around it fortresses" - these are sins;
"There was in the city a poor Chacham" - this is the Yetzer Tov;
"He saved the city with his wisdom" - this is repentance and good deeds;
"No one remembered the poor Chacham" - when the Yetzer Ra seduces, no one remembers the Yetzer Tov.
"Wisdom will strengthen a Chacham more than 10 officers" - the wisdom referred to is repentance and good deeds;
The 10 officers are the eyes, ears, hands, feet, male organ, and mouth.
(R. Zecharyah): (Initially) Hash-m wanted that Kohanim should descend from Shem - "He was a Kohen to Hash-m";
Hash-m decreed that Kehunah would come from Avraham because Shem blessed Avraham before Hash-m - "blessed is Avraham... and blessed is Hash-m."
Avraham - One does not bless the slave before the master!
Immediately, Hash-m decreed that Kehunah would come from Avraham - "The word of Hash-m to (Avraham)... you are a Kohen forever on the words of Malki Tzedek (Shem)" - because of his words.
"He (Shem) was a Kohen to Hash-m", but his seed was not.
ONE WHO IS MUDAR HANA'AH FROM HIS FRIEND
(Mishnah): (If Reuven vowed not to benefit from Shimon, or Shimon vowed 'Reuven may not benefit from me', in either case Reuven is Mudar Hana'ah from Shimon.) If Reuven is Mudar Hana'ah from Shimon, and Levi is Mudar food from Shimon, the only difference between them is that Reuven may not walk through Shimon's property or borrow Kelim not used for food, but Levi may;
Shimon may not lend to Levi a sifter, grinder or oven. He may lend to him cloaks and rings.
(Gemara) Question: Who is the Tana of the Mishnah (who forbids walking on property)?
Answer (Rav Ada bar Ahavah): It is R. Eliezer:
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): Even Vitur (small benefits that people normally do for free, e.g. a seller who gives a bit extra) may not be done for one who is Mudar Hana'ah.