At the end of the bris (circumcision) ceremony, the congregation wishes

כשם שנכנס לברית כן יכנס לתורה לחופה ולמעשים טובים

In the manner that he entered the bris, so shall he enter for Torah, the chuppah (wedding canopy) and the good deeds.

What is the word כשם mean here? I know that it means, "like" or "just as", but, for that they could have used the word כמו. The word כשם means, "Like the name" or "Like the reputation". Is there some nuance being suggested by use of the word כשם, here? What "name" or "reputation" has been gained by an 8-day old? He hasn't really done much in life, yet!


1 Answer 1


The word shem (name) means the essence of an item. Thus we see when Adam gave "names" to the animals he recognized their essences and integrated them into his view of the world. Thus, just as the entry into the bris was because of the essence of the mitzvah and not any external influence, so too should the other main mitzvos and critical moments of life occur.

תורה Bar Mitzvah - entering into the mitzos

חופה - Wedding - creating a new family

מעשים טובים - Now he can really start the "good deeds" of his family initiating his son into mitzvos by performing his bris.

See also the various answers at K'shaim Shenichnas L'Bris Kain Yikones L'Torah L'Chupa U'Lmaasim Tovim: why that order? about the order.

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