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There is a minhag not to have the same  person be honored as a Sandek twice in one family. The Rama quotes the Maharil who likens a sandek to a Kohen who brings the ketores in the mikdash. The ketores was considered an important mitzvah and was a segulah for wealth. In order to create a fair society amongst the Kohanim,  they created a system so that no kohen should be able to bring the ketores more than once. During the daily gorel they would announce that only those Kohanim who have not bought the ketores should participate in the gorel.

Similarly, being Sandek at a Bris is a segulah for wealth and like the Kohen offering Ketores, it is limited to once per family.

But why is bringing a baby to the Bris likened to offering Ketores? What is the deeper connection between the Bris Mila and Ketores which causes us to equate them?

To understand the power of Ketores, let’s first take a look at the Parsha. After Korach and his cohorts are punished for their rebellion, Bnei Yisroel complained that Moshe and Aharon were responsible for killing the nation of Hashem. As a result, Hashem sends a plague to punish the Jewish people.

Moshe tells Aharon to offer Ketores to atone for the Jewish people. Why did Moshe suddenly pull out the Ketores? What is the connection to the impending plague? The Gemara explains that when Moshe was on Har Sinai to receive the Torah, each of the Malachim presented Moshe with a gift. Even the Malach Hamaves gave Moshe a gift, teaching Moshe the secret that Ketores has the ability to stop a plague. When Aharon burnt the Ketores amongst the Jewish people, the Malach Hamaves halted in his tracks, bringing the plague to its end.

What is the unique power of Ketores that it can stop a plague, even when the Jewish people seemingly deserved to be punished?

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