Instructions are given in this week’s Sidra that on the eighth day after a Jewish boy is born he is to be circumcised. (Lev. 12:3) When Hashem created the world He did not finish it completely but left room for man to improve on it. Even a child that is born by means of one of the greatest miracles in nature has to be perfected through the act of man. This is what is meant when at the end of creation the Torah says: ASHER BARA ELOKIM LA’ASOT, “that Hashem created to make.” (Gen. 2:3) Hashem created the world but left things undone so that man could complete the job.
The Talmud relates that a Roman once asked Rabbi Akiva, “Whose work is more pleasant, Hashem’s or man’s?” He answered, man’s. The Roman then asked, “Why do you circumcise?” Rabbi Akiva answered, “I knew you were going to ask me this question, that is why I answered as I did. Rabbi Akiva then brought to the Roman, stalks of wheat and buns. These are the works of Hashem and these are the works of man. Which is better? Aren’t the buns better?”
Hashem created the world but he left much undone so that we can improve on it and have a share in creation. If we do our part we share with Hashem. This is the greatest honor a person can have, to share creation with Hashem.