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 HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Spiritual Climates
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Tapping Into Our Meritorious Pedigree
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

The Art of the Deal and It's Impact
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

ArtScroll

Prayer is of the Essence
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5769

Knock, Knock!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Of Fashions and Foods
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

> Non-Trivial Pursuit
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Month of Elul: The Power of Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Found Innocent
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

The Custom of Eating Symbolic Foods
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Safely Carried on the Wings of Eagles
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Joyful Service
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Teshuva—Paradigm Shift
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Shofar - Past and Present
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

The Judgment
Shlomo Katz - 5759



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