This week’s Torah portion starts off the next book of the Chumash, Sefer Vayikra, the book of Leviticus.
The book of Vayikra is also known as Toras Kohanim, or the Bible of the Priests. The parshiyos in this book talk about the laws that the priests need to know to serve in the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, and later, in the Bais Hamikdash, the Holy Temple.
The parashah starts off with the general rules of offerings of all different types, animal offerings and mincha, flour offerings, and all of the various reasons they are brought. Every offering that is brought has to be salted.
We learn about the reasons that individual leaders would bring offerings and the particulars of these offerings, and then about the offerings of individual members of the nation.
The first word in the parashah is “Vayikra” – and He called. Who called? Hashem called to Moshe Rabbeinu.
If you look in any Chumash or Torah, you’ll notice something peculiar about this first word of this week’s parashah. The Alef, the last letter in the word Vayikra, looks like this: א. Here in Vaikira, the Alef is mini! The word Vayikra is all normal size, except for the last letter.
When Moshe Rabbeinu was recording the Torah, he didn’t want to print the word Vayikra in normal print, because he didn’t want it to be so apparent that Hashem called directly to him. Because of Moshe Rabbeinu‘s great humility, he wanted it to seem like Vayikar, without the Alef – like Hashem chanced upon him, and happened to speak with him.
Of course, once Moshe Rabbeinu wrote the small Alef, we all notice it, ask about it, and we can learn a lesson from it too!
Moshe Rabbeinu knew the level he was on. He knew how highly Hashem thought of him. While he knew this very well, he didn’t want to flaunt it and tell everybody else about it. While not denying his own worth, Moshe Rabbeinu preferred not to publicize his greatness. This is why Moshe Rabbeinu was the ultimate person in humility – he had the perfect balance of acknowledging his own greatness and yet being humble about it too.
Do you find it easier to relate to people who flaunt their stature or people who are quiet about it?
Have a beautiful Shabbos!
Listening to Keep Climbing on Avraham Fried’s album Keep Climbing! It’s awesome!