This week’s parshah, Tazria, talks about the birth of a child. When a baby boy is born, on the eighth day, he must be circumcised. It is not only a circumcision, but it is a Brit Mila, which is a covenant with G-D.
Why on the eighth day? God created the world in six days, and on the seventh, he rested. His last creation, was the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. On the same day, they sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, and were exiled out of the Garden of Eden. Despite this, G-d allowed them have one Shabbat in the Garden of Eden before they had to leave. As the end of Shabbat approached, Adam and Eve were to be sent out to a world of darkness. G-d was merciful and showed them how to make light. This is why we light the havdalah candle to symbolize the end, but also the beginning. The candle represents the eighth day. It marks the beginning of human creativity.
In last week’s parsha, Shemini, the mishkan was built on the eighth day. Bereshit (Genesis) and Shemot (Exodus) starts and ends with stories of creation. The eighth day, is a day we celebrate the creation to which humans contribute. Each one of us has something special, and we all contribute to the world in our own unique way.
By: Michal Cohen