Topic: Consciousness | Posted:March 13, 2013
The revelations of Vayikra - which is the beginning of Leviticus, the third book of the Bible - are contained within the first words of the portion, “Vayikra El Moses,” meaning, “The Creator called to Moses.”
Rashi, the great kabbalist, writes, “The voice [of the Creator] came to Moses, and no one else heard it.” Basically, Moses was standing with hundreds of people around him at the completion of the Tabernacle, yet he was the only person who heard this call of the Creator - which Rashi makes clear was not a whisper; in fact, it was so loud and powerful that it could break down trees. It was so loud that Moses became frightened by it, but no one else around him could hear it. Only Moses could hear the call of the Creator.
On this Shabbat, we have the opportunity to be like Moses, to be the one person in a crowd of thousands who hears the call of the Creator. One of the great gifts of Shabbat Vayikra is to be the “Vayikra El Moses,” so that we are able to connect to, and receive, the Light of the Creator while those around us may not.
There is an incredible understanding that is revealed to us through the Alef of the first word in this portion, an understanding that helps us connect to that level where, like Moses, we can hear the voice of the Creator when others cannot. The Baal haTurim teaches that the Hebrew letter Alef in the word Vayikra is written smaller than the other letters. Surely, we are not simply talking about letters here; we are talking about revelation. Why was the Alef written smaller? Because it shows us that the only way to connect to the call of the Creator is by diminishing our ego. This was a quality Moses possessed; Moses found new ways to diminish his ego every single day of his life.
The Creator told Moses to write the first word of this portion as “vayikra,” so that everyone would know how closely connected he was to the Creator, but Moses preferred that no one knew of his connection to the Creator, and as such, wanted to write the word “veyakar,” leaving out the Alef. Doing so would indicate that the Creator only speaks to Moses in a dream, or that the Light of the Creator is only revealed to him inadvertently. However, the Creator would not allow it. Moses eventually agreed to writing the word vayikra, but on one condition - that he write the Alef smaller than the other letters, as a way of diminishing the importance of his connection to the Creator.
There are many levels to this consciousness of diminishing what others perceive our connection to the Light of the Creator to be. Unfortunately, too many of us do not hide our connection to the Creator; let’s be honest, if it were us and not Moses, we would probably want to make the letter Alef really big—larger than all the other letters in the Torah. But here, with the small Alef, Moses reveals to us that the only way to have a constant connection to the Light of the Creator is if we fight not to have our connection with the Creator revealed to others.
Moses fought for the small Alef although all the logic in the world proved otherwise. This is a tremendous revelation. Moses shows us that the smaller our Alef - meaning the less revealed our level of connection to the Light of the Creator is to others - the stronger our vayikra, our constant connection to the Light of the Creator; and the greater our Alef - the more revealed our connection to the Light is to the world - the more diminished our vayikra, our connection to the Creator becomes. We cannot have both. We cannot be truly connected to the Light of the Creator and have our level of connection to the Light be revealed to the world. It is impossible.
Moses fought with the Creator over the Alef because he knew that if his Light were to be revealed, if everyone knew who he truly was, then he would actually be disconnected from the Light of the Creator. On this Shabbat, we can use the gift of this understanding and work to diminish our ego, remembering that we will only merit our connection to the Light of the Creator to the same degree in which we try to hide what others see of it.