Read What It Says
Let's go back to the first Rashi in the Torah for a moment. Rashi, in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak, explains that B'reishit is our answer to the nations of the world, who would accuse us of being usurpers. We say to them - the world is G-d's; He gives to and takes from whom He chooses.
I'm not sure that the world will admit to the truth of that argument. But the more important issue is whether we, the Jewish People, understand and believe the many points the Torah makes.
G-d sends Avra(ha)m and Sara(i) to the Land of Canaan, the "future" Land of Israel. That is where they will be blessed. That is where they will grow into a great People.
G-d says to Avra(ha)m that He will give the Land to his descendants.
Avra(ha)m and Sara(i) leave the Land and go to Egypt. Although they end up with great wealth there, it was not the place to live, and they return to Eretz Yisrael. G-d tells Avra(ha)m again to look north, south, east, and west, and see the whole land, for all the land that he sees, G-d will give to him and his descendants FOREVER.
And again, a few p'sukim later, G-d says it again. Arise and walk the land through its length and breadth, because to you I am giving it.
And these are not the only times the Torah tells us who is to get the Land and who is to live in it.
READ WHAT IT SAYS! If the rest of the world wants to ignore what the Torah says, that's one thing. But what's wrong with us? Why are there Jews among us who ignore what the Torah says? (I know this sounds simplistic and naive, but that does not make it less true.)
Removing Jews and their homes from any part of Eretz Yisrael is an abomination. It is a denial of what G-d wants. Giving parts of Eretz Yisrael into the hands of non-Jews is abhorrent.
The Jews of Israel and the Jews of the world must pay serious attention to what G-d is telling us in the Torah. We must make it clear to our government and those of the nations that this Land is ours.
AL vs. L'
In honor of a first cousin twice removed, Shimon Moshe N"Y, who entered the Brit of Avraham earlier in this week of Parshat Lech L'cha - and in memory of the special man for whom he was named.
Brachot for mitzvot can be divided into two categories: those that describe the mitzva with a gerund - e.g. on eating matza, on reading the Megila, on counting the Omer; and those that use the infinitive form of a verb - e.g. to light the candle of Shabbat, to affix a Mezuza, to dwell in the Sukka. In Hebrew, the firsttype is AL, as in AL NETILAT YADAYIM; the second is in the L' form, as L'HADLIK NER CHANUKA.
The two forms of BIRCHOT HAMITZVA are not interchangeable, nor are they arbitrarily assigned to different mitzvot. We could have said LE'ECHOL MATZA, to eat matza - but we don't. We could have said AL HADLAKAT NER SHEL SHABBAT - but we don't.
There is more than one way to distinguish between the two categories. The way that seems to "fit" for most, if not all, Brachot of Mitzva, is the following:
Some mitzvot are performed completely by our act, within a certain piece of time. On the Seder night, we are obligated to eat a specific quantity of Matza. We take the matza into our hand(s), make the brachot, bite, chew, swallow, until the mitzva is fulfilled. Done. We unroll and fold Megilat Esther, recite the brachot,and 38 minutes later (or 45 or 62 or...) we have completed the mitzva of reading the Megila (at night or during the day - separate mitzvot). For these kind of mitzvot, the AL form of the bracha is said.
With other mitzvot, our initial act sets the mitzva in motion, so to speak, but the mitzva continues beyond our performance. We say the brachot and light our Chanuka candles, but we are not finished. the candles (must) continue to burn for a certain amount of time, which they do "on their own". We affix the Mezuza,continued on but it must remain on our doorpost as long as we live in that house. After a Sukka meal, the mitzva has not been completed. It keeps on going and going every minute of the seven days of CHAG. These mitzvot get the L' form of bracha.
The reader is challenged to think of as many Mitzva Brachot as possible and see if they fit this thesis. Of special interest are T'filin and Tzitzit, both of which have both kinds of brachot. Work on it.
The above has been an introduction to the examination of the TWO brachot of mitzva at a Brit Mila. (She'he'che'yanu is a third bracha, and there is a fourth and fifth after the Mila is done, but these are not Mitzva Brachot.)
The Mohel performs the Mila, and in the few seconds that it takes to fulfill the requirements of halacha, the mitzva is done. The Mohel's bracha is AL HAMILA. Immediately following the Mohel's bracha, the father of the baby says another Mitzva Bracha. L'HACHNISO... to enter him into the Covenant of Avraham Avinu. This mitzvadoes not take a few seconds to perform. The physical act of Mila is done. The spiritual obligations of the father and mother continue forever. Raising a Jewish child in the ways of the Torah, to practice and to love mitzvot - this is an ongoing facet of the mitzva of Mila.
When the father instructs the Mohel to act on his behalf and circumcise his son, the Mohel does the mitzva AND makes the bracha. But only the first one. The father does not (and cannot) give over the other aspect of the mitzva to the Mohel. He accepts the challenge and he makes the bracha. The L' type of bracha.
If AL HAMILA were the whole story, then we would count the mitzva of mila from Parshat Tazria. But we don't. We take it from the context of Avraham Avinu and we get an idea as to what is involved. This is echoed in the immediate response of those assembled at the Mila - "Just like he has entered the Brit, so too may heenter Torah, Chupa, and good deeds."