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Parashat Vayikra: Hearing our Calling

This week’s Torah portion begins with the verse, “G-d called to Moses speaking to him from the communion tent.” The portion continues to teach us about various sacrifices that were offered in the Temple.

In the Torah scroll there are three different sized letters, big, medium and small.  The vast majority of letters are medium size and very rarely is there a big or small sized letters.

In our opening verse the word, “Vayikra- G-d called” the final letter of the word, “Aleph,” is written in the small size. The reason usually given is that since Moses was exceedingly humble, the Torah uses a small sized letter.

There is another insightful reason that is given for the Torah using a small Aleph in this verse.

We are accustomed to think that G-d calls us and sends us messages for great miraculous events ie. wars, natural disasters etc. However, the truth is that we can equally see G-d calling to us in the small details of life. Science has shown us in our time that our physical appearance, if not even our longevity and health lie in almost invisible strands that make up our dna.

This idea of hearing G-d’s call in the details of life was one of the main teachings of the Baal Shem tov, the founder of the Chassidic movements.  He taught that all the details of our life are orchestrated by G-d with laser precision and if we pay attention to the wonders of our lives we can hear his personal message and each one of us.

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of “Finding the Joy in Everyday Living,” a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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