Dvar Torah Vayikra 6 2006 – 5766 דבר תורה ויקרא

Our Sidra talks about the sacrifices which the Jews had to bring on specific occasions for transgression or thanksgiving. The opening words read VAYIKRA EL MOSHE, “And He called to Moshe… “ (Lev. 1,1) The word VAYIKRA is written with a small Aleph and the Baal Haturim explains that Moshe wrote the word with modesty and humility. He wanted to use the word VAYIKAR which is used when Hashem appeared to Bilam. This means a chance meeting while VAYIKRA means an intentional call. He was instructed by Hashem to add the Aleph but he wrote it small.

There is a problem with this explanation. When Hashem came down Mt. Sinai to give the Torah to the Jews it says: VAYIKRA HASHEM LEMOSHE, “… and Hashem called to Moshe …”. (Ex. 19,20) Here Moshe accepted the word VAYIKRA and did not write a small Aleph. Why the difference?

When Moshe was called to Mt. Sinai to accept the Torah for the Jewish people, it was his greatest moment of glory. At such a time he had to demonstrate his leadership and show that he was Hashem’s messenger to receive the Torah for the people. It was the wrong time for modesty. Here he had to show leadership. When introducing the Book of Vayikra which deals with sacrifices and man’s shortcomings he could be modest.

In our own dealings with people there are times when we should take the leadership and direct and guide and stand firm. There are other times when we can really be modest and not consider ourselves superior to others.

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