Here is the speech I said today at my son's bris. We named him Michoel Dovid after my mother's father (Michoel) and my father in law's father (Dovid)
There is an interesting aspect of the bris milah that does not get a lot of attentiion. It is brought down that after the bris the minhag is to bury the orlah in the ground. The Ksav Sofer says that the mekor for this minhag is based on a medrash in this weeks Parsha. The Medrash says that when Bilam saw the orlos in the Midbar he said who can stand against klal yisroel who have the bris mila that they bury in the dirt.
Bilam, then went ahead and gave klal yisroel the beracha "Mi mana yaakov K'afar" who can count the dust of Yaakov and the seed of Yisroel.
The Ksav Sofer concludes that frm here is the minhag to bury the orlah in the dirt.
The Avudraham brings a different mekor. He says that the reason we bury he orlah is based on the havtacha that HKB”H made with Yaakov on the way to Lavans house. HKB”H promised Yaakov that his children will be like the dirt of the ground.In truth these 2 mekoros are actualy in sync with each other. There is another medrash in parshas Bamidbar, ( and I would like to thank my father in law for pointing out to me this medrash). The Medrash says that Hahsem promised Avraham that his children will be k’kochvei hashamayim. He promised Yitzchak they will be k’chol hayam. And to YTaakov he promised that they will be k’afar haertz. The medrash then concludes that the havtacha to yaakov was fullfilled b’zman of Bilaam when he blessed B’nei Yisroel "Mi mana yaakov K'afar"
So we see that the m’kor of the Ksav Sofer which is learnt from the possuk "Mi mana yaakov K'afar" is the kiyum of the havtachah of `k’afar haertz. which is the mekor according to the Avudraham. It
would seem then the key to understanding this minhag of burying the orlah in the ground is to understand the beracha of k’afar haertz.
The medrash says that there are 3 characteristics that dirt has that are found in Klal Yisroel. First
of all just like dirt is always stepped on and trampled on so too Klal Yisroel is always stepped on. Second of all just like dirt can never be totally destroyed-as much as you grind up dirt all you are left with is more dirt, so too Klal Yisroel can never be destroyed. And finally jsut like when you water dirt it has the capability to grow and produce so too Klal Yisroel has the capacity to grow and grow.
It is interesting that the first characterisitc is the total opposite and even contradictory to the last 2. How is it possible for something that is constantly being steeped on to a) never be destroyed and b) contine to flourish? The meforshim point out that Yaakov was the prototype of the Jew in golus and the havtacha of k’afar haertz. given to Yaakov was a beracha meant precisely for golus. Even in golus when we are in a matzav of being beaten and stepped on we will still grow.
This is what the medrash is telling us- we are like dirt always being stepped on but we are also
like dirt that even in such a matzav not only do we survive but we also grow.
The question still remains how does this happen? I think the answer comes from the second half
of the possuk. Hashem tells Yaakov "ufaratzta yama vakedma tzofona vnegba" The gemara in Shabbos says that from here we learn one can be zocheh to a "nachalah bli mitzarim" We see from the gemara that the havtacha of k’afar haertz is a havtacha of "nachalah bli mitzarim". It’s a havtacha that klal yisroel has the ability to transcend the limitations of the natural world and go l’ma’leh min hateva. This is precisely why even in golus, in a matzav of k’afar haertz. we are able to survuve and even grow-because we were also blessed with the beracha of "nachlos bli mitzarim"-the ability to go against the natural teva.
I think with this yesod we can now explain why the mila is covered in dirt. We know that a bris
mila takes place on the eighth day. One of the reasons given is that 8 represents l’ma’aleh min
hateva and a bris milah is l’ma’aleh min hatva. I mentioned at the shalom zachor that we see
from the parsha of mei meriva that when the water from the well came b’zechus Miriam, Moshe
had to hit the rock. However, at mei merivah when the water was coming b’zechus Moshe, all he
had to do was speak to the rock. The Chasam Sofer writes that the ma’aleh that Moshe had over
Miriam was his bris milah. The zechus of bris milah allowed Moshe to accomplish more. We see
from here that a bris milah allows one to go l’ma’aleh min hateva.
Furthermore, as we mentioned klal yisroel itself is a nation l’ma’aleh min hateva and the bris
mila is a baby’s entrance into klal yisroel. Not only is it the first mitzvah that will be performed
with this child but also, Rav Elchanan writes that Avraham was the first member of klal yisroel
and he became a memeber through his bris mila. It would seem then that it is only fitting that the
orlah of the mila which represents that aspect of a Yid that allows him to go l’ma’aleh min
hateva and represents that teh child is a member of a nation that is l’ma’aleh min hateva should
be buried in the dirt which is representative of the havtacha to klal yisroel that because they are
l’ma’aleh min hateva not only will they neevr be destroyed in golus but they will also grow in