Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Vayikra

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken

The third book of the Chumash, often known as Leviticus, begins with the Hebrew word "VaYikra", meaning [G-d] "called" to Moses. This, says the Midrash, was the same Voice that the entire Nation of Israel had been unable to withstand at Mt. Sinai. Yet Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) was able to listen and respond.

Only Moshe was able to withstand the call of "VaYikra". Concerning the wicked Bila'am, on the other hand (whom we will meet in the fourth book, BaMidbar), the Torah uses "VaYikar", which indicates a chance meeting. Moshe was reluctant to record for posterity the fact that he, and he alone, was capable of VaYikra. Because of Moshe's great modesty, G-d permitted him to write the word VaYikra with its last letter, Aleph, written very small (removal of the Aleph would leave "VaYikar").

Our Rabbis tell us that it was Moshe's modesty that was the essence of his greatness. With his great humility, he was able to see the virtues of every other individual, and thus to be considerate and kind towards everyone.

By writing a small Aleph, Moshe left over a tiny extra amount of unused ink. In Chassidic / Kabbalistic works, Rabbis tell us that this extra ink was used by G-d, as it were, to create the emanating Divine radiance that came out of Moshe's forehead. Moshe set aside his own honor, and measure for measure G-d made it so that others would honor him.

We must strive to be like Moshe. Just as Moshe recognized his capabilities, so must we, and we must work to fulfill them. But instead of demonstrating pride and showing off those accomplishments, we should work to recognize everyone else's great virtues. "He who runs away from honor, honor chases after him."


Text Copyright © 1995 Rabbi Yaakov Menken and Project Genesis, Inc.

The author is the Director of Project Genesis.


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Never Give Up!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Hey, Looks Like Supper!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Caught Not Taught
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

> See Yaakov Run
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

A Celebration of Spiritual Victory
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Sheepish Leadership
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Leaving Ya'akov for Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Waning or Waxing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

It's Good For You
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5763

ArtScroll

Yehuda, Yosef and Chanukah
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Lessons in Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Lighting Up the Streets
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Perfect Marriage
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Good and Bad Company
Shlomo Katz - 5768

It's Who You're Dealing With
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Tithing All His Possessions
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information