The text is obviously censored, but what is written there that would require censoring. So I checked out another Baal HaTurim, also from JNUL, page 7, which is uncensored. This one is from קושטנטינא : דפוס ש' נחמיאש, ב'ר'"ן' י'ח'"ד' [רע"ד].
Thus, it is from Constantina (Constantinople), in the year 1514. It reads:
The text in question is:
וזה הוא שאמרו חכמים ז"ל שאברהם יושב על פתח גיהנם ואינו מניח למי שנימול ליכנס שם חוץ ממי שבא על הגויה שנמשכה ערלתו ואינו מכירו
It is obvious why the censor would see fit to censor this text. Funnily enough, though, the censor neglected to censor the subsequent text, on the same page: אבל איש בושת פירוש שבא על הגויה שאין לך בושת גדול ממי שבא על הגויה
A point we will draw out in a later post is that while gematria spices things up in Baal HaTurim, this is not necessarily the primary mechanism of his Biblical exegesis -- as Baal HaTurim says himself in his hakdama. Here, he cites a midrash Chazal, and reads it into a pasuk elsewhere of kechom hayom about Ish Boshet, where a close hyperliteral reading of that verse yields this. Especially when we consider all 4 instances of kechom in Scriptures. I am not certain that in the end I agree with his etiology of this midrash, but it is clearly insightful, and makes good use of a mastery of Tanach as well as his creative faculties. And yes, he brings a gematria -- that כחום היום in gematria is זהו בגיהנם, as well as the gematria of dam milah. But looking over the perush, this is not really the primary point. It does reflect the underlying themes he is trying to develop and bring out.
My own take on this midrash, at this moment, entirely aside from anything Baal HaTurim says:
1) The idea of brit milah, from the previous parsha (perek 17), was a covenant not just with Avraham but with all his descendants. And circumcision is something which keeps an Israelite under this covenant. Thus:
kol Yisrael yesh lahem chelek leOlam haba. And this idea of special protection by virtue of this covenant, when this shows that Hashem is their God, to save them from Hell, is not such a stretch.
Nor is the idea that Avraham officiates at this. Not literally, but figuratively, he is certainly an appropriate figure.
Not keeping the covenant of brit milah will lead to being cut off, and going to gehinnom. We can almost see this explicitly in this pasuk:
What about one who has intercourse with a gentile woman? Two possibilities. The first, which I will propose but do not consider the better of the two -- we can cast milah as some kind of sanctification of the ever, with the act this one did as undoing this sanctification.
The second, that all sorts of people are subject to brit, as miknat kesef or yelid bayit, and those regularly born. And the child from such a union would not be Israelite-born and subject to milah. And pasuk 10 again read:
|י זֹאת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּ, בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ, אַחֲרֶיךָ: הִמּוֹל לָכֶם, כָּל-זָכָר.||10 This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised.|