This week, Sara and I celebrated the Bris ceremony of our dear son Asher. The Bris is a covenant, a sort of entry into the membership club of the Jewish people. Sara and I are very touched that so many of you took the time to join us for this joyous occasion.

Many cultures contain a ritual of this sort. The difference in the Jewish way of doing things, is that we do it when the baby is but eight days old. Others generally hold off until the child reaches intellectual maturity at age thirteen or older, when he can understand the deeper reasons and meaning. We do it right away. Why?

Sigmund Freud took a long hard look at human society, and arrived at the conclusion that we are nothing but animalistic, selfish creatures, who will stop at nothing to advance our egos. It is only external social norms that hold us back from following our every whim and desire.

Judaism teaches exactly the opposite. Yes, Freud does have a point that every human being has negative, selfish qualities. But the core, the beating heart of every individual is a piece of God, and purely selfless good. Every person has a Neshama, which wants nothing more than to be kind, give, do acts of goodness, study Torah, perform Mitzvot and be the best person we can. It is the external elements of our psyche that can cover this over at times.

At the Bris we tell our child, "Dear boy, you're starting your life at 100%. You're a purely good, sparkling human being. You are already a solid member of our people, without having to earn it".

If we begin our lives from a point of perfection, what is our mission during our entire lifetimes? Our mission is to take that pure, shining soul within us, and share its light with the world. Reveal it, express it, and make your mark on the world, the mark that only you are capable of making.

In this week's Torah portion we learn of the importance of counting time, keeping a calendar. Why is that so important? Time will pass whether we're counting or not, but it is our job to make time ours. To count it, to express some of the light that is at our core onto every minute of our lives. Don't let time pass you by. Count it, treasure it, maximize it with an extra Mitzvah.

Being progressive doesn't necessarily mean changing things in a drastic way. Sometimes what is needed is to dig deep inside ourselves, and bring out the immense good we have embedded within us from birth.

Rabbi Avrohom