Following is a free English
Translation from the Rebbe's Reshimos(Journal) in connection with a circumcision performed
on Iyar 22, 5702 (1942)
the first mitzvah which Avraham, our Patriarch, the first Jew, was
commanded to perform. Similarly, the circumcision is the first mitzvah
performed with every Jew from the time of his birth. Thus [it can be
assumed] that the mitzvah of circumcision reflects the totality of the
Torah and its mitzvos, as indicated by Nedarim 32a, which states:
"Great is circumcision, for it is equivalent to all the mitzvos of
To explain the above:
a) Circumcision is the only mitzvah which leaves an actual physical
imprint on our bodies (see Shabbos 130a). [Since, as stated above,
circumcision can be understood as a paradigm for all the mitzvos. It
follows that,] although it is not obvious, the same concept applies with
regard to the other mitzvos. [They also affect our actual physical
persons], as indicated by the verse: 
"If not, with a strong hand... I will reign over you."
b) Circumcision is "a covenant between Me and You," 
[i.e., it is performed for the sake of our relationship with G-d]. And
yet, it also is of physical benefit, but this physical benefit is
superseded entirely by the spiritual benefits [of the mitzvah].
The same is true with regard to the totality of the Torah and its mitzvos.
They also provide material benefits, and yet these are totally eclipsed by
the spiritual benefits they bring.
c) [Another aspect of circumcision which relates to the totality of our
Jewish practice is that it involves some pain for the child;] the child cries.
It is true that he is crying because of his lack of understanding - [he is
crying, because he does not appreciate that it is worth undergoing the
pain for the benefits of the mitzvah.] Moreover, he does not know that the
intent is only to release "the blood of the covenant," [a small
amount of blood], not more. When he grows older, he understands these
[The same applies to] the difficulty and the loss which is involved with
[performing any] mitzvah. When one cries, it is only because one does not
understand. For the intent is merely to release "the blood of the
covenant." With this, a person fulfills his obligation.
This [- the release "the blood of the covenant" -] is required
even when a child is born as if he was circumcised. 
For even a perfect Tzaddik must manifest Mesirus Nefesh, self-sacrifice.
[For this reason,] the generation who entered Eretz Yisrael were commanded
to recite the Shema, because - as explained in Tanya, ch. 25 - [ "the
observance of the Torah and its Mitzvos are dependent on the constant
remembrance of Mesirus Nefesh"].
[The release of "the blood of the covenant" is equivalent to Mesirus
Nefesh, for as our Sages commented: 
"Of what difference does it make if one is killed entirely, or
[The pain caused by circumcision is minor, and there is no real danger. On
the contrary,] if [circumcision] can [possibly] harm the child, e.g., a
sick infant, the Torah forbids the circumcision until the child regains
its health. This indicates that when the Torah does command the
circumcision, this is certainly for the child's benefit in a physical way
as well. The same is true with regard to all the other mitzvos, although
at times, one does not understand.
Just as circumcision must be performed with happiness and with Mesirus Nefesh, so too, these qualities must permeate the totality of our
observance of the Torah and its Mitzvos.
If one carries out all of the above as required, the child - the spark of
holiness - becomes a viable birth, and he proceeds to the redemption of
the firstborn. [Herein, there is an allusion to the concept of redemption
in general, as it is written: 
] "Zion will be redeemed with judgment." For from the
circumcision performed by the individual, we come to the ultimate
redemption - both of the individual, and of our people as a whole. [At
that time, we will merit fulfillment of the prophecy:] 
"And G-d, your Lord, will circumcise the foreskins of your
hearts," as explained in Tanya, Iggeres haKodesh, epistle 4.
Ezekiel 20:33 [The Rebbe does not explain his intent in
the prooftext. It would appear that the
that the mitzvos convey G-d's influence
which, with or without
our knowledge or consent (note the context
of the passage
in Ezekiel), sways our conduct.]
. I.e., from birth, his organ is not covered by a foreskin.
Shabbos 135a which describes such a