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Home > Torah Portion > Dvar for Vayetzei

Dvar for Vayikra
Leviticus 1:1-5:26
by Shlomo Ressler

The very first Passuk in Sefer Vayikra (Leviticus) describes Hashem calling Moshe to tell him about all the different offerings that needed to be brought, and how they should be done. The last letter in the word "Vayikra", which means "called", was written smaller then the rest (the Alef). Why is this letter shrunk? Furthermore, why is the whole book called Vayikra, "And He called"?

Most commentaries explain that Moshe didn't want to make a big deal out of the fact that G-d called him and no one else, and therefore wanted to use the same word, but without the last letter, which would still have the same meaning, but wouldn't be as affectionate a greeting. This shows us the great sensitivity and humility that Moshe had. Rabeinu Yonah offers us an insight into humility and human nature, by explaining that some people who feel that they are lacking in a quality or in knowledge often compensate for it by lowering others, thereby making themselves seem like they're better, in comparison. Moshe was the greatest prophet, but he was also the humblest because he was confident in himself and in his abilities, and didn't need to lower others, even indirectly.

But there's an even more blatant message Moshe is sending us: The one letter he chose to shrink was the "Alef", which is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet...The very FIRST thing we have to realize is that even though Moshe was a great person, he sought to downplay it by shrinking that letter. But there's yet ANOTHER hidden hint for us in this word: The letter that's shrunk, Alef, actually has a meaning as a word! It means 'to teach'! The message being taught to us is clear.The first and most important lesson in life is to recognize our egos, and work on not letting it control us. Whenever we get angry, it's because our ego is telling us that we deserve something! The second lesson is that instead of lowering others to make us LOOK better, we should raise our own standards, and BECOME better! And finally, the last lesson is to take these lessons and teach and share them with someone else.

Quotation of the Week (thank to Terrence):

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have an terrifically amazing Shabbat!!!!!!

Shlomo Ressler


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