Saturday, March 24, 2007

DVAR TORAH S2: Vayikra ("that's one small aleph for a man")

We now enter the hardest book of the bible for which to write original Divrei Torah. It is difficult to adapt the "Torah of Priests", Leviticus, consisting of little narrative and little else besides priestly sacrifices, to today. Yet the very first word of the book, also its namesake and the namesake of this week's torah portion, ויקרא Vayikra, can speak volumes. Notice that I shrunk the size of the last letter of Vayikra. In the Torah scroll, the Aleph at the end of the word is written very small, the most famous small letter in the entire bible due to its primacy in a book. "God called upon Moses" or "God named Moses". Moses, the greatest person who ever lived was also the only one to speak to God "face-to-face" and he had every reason to be singled out by God after all of the things he did for the people Israel ("he" being Moses). Yet the smaller aleph indicates the humility of Moses. Moses was too humble to be publicly called out by God and spoke to Him in private. And, though I didn't read it anywhere (I don't have text in front of me), maybe the aleph is small because it is to be removed: :ויקר Moses was dear to God. Or: God was dear to Moses. It could work either way.

Shabbat Shalom and No Ruz Mubarak to all my friends from Shushan.

Moshe, who was called by name by God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your dvar torah! This gave me much to think about!