Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:March 5, 2014
Vayikra is a unique portion in many ways; you can tell by reading the commentaries by different kabbalists that there is something very special that happens on this Shabbat, with very special secrets and Light being revealed.
At the end of last week’s portion, Pekudei, there was the setting up of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. It says that Moses could not enter into the Mishkan because the Light of the Creator rested upon it. This portion begins right after that with the words Vayikra (ויקרא) el Moshe, “He called to Moses.” It doesn’t say who called to Moses, but we assume it’s the Creator. Then it says Vayedaber Hashem elav meohel moed lemor, “and the Creator spoke to Moses from the Tabernacle.”
The kabbalists point out that the first word, which means “the Creator called out to Moses,” is written in a strange way; the Vav-Yud-Kuf-Resh (ויקר) are written in the large form, while the last letter, the Alef (א), is small. There’s been great discussion amongst all the kabbalists for thousands of years regarding the secrets behind these five letters, and specifically why the letter Alef is written small.
If you take out the last letter, Alef (א), and you have just the first four letters, Vav-Yud-Kuf-Resh (ויקר), they spell the word vayikar, which means “happened upon him.” It connotes a haphazard meeting, or a haphazard calling. We have to be clear about the difference between the two possible words used: vayikar, which means a haphazard, non-usual connection or revelation, and vayikra, which represents a true calling, a true revelation of the Light of the Creator.
The kabbalists explain that throughout our lives we see what we think are coincidences; vayikar represents those coincidences. And it’s up to the individual to know that for every coincidence that happens to him, it is really the Light of the Creator that is calling to him. Therefore, we need to begin to see the coincidences in our lives as coming from the Creator, which the letter Alef represents.
So, we have a choice. Do we connect to the coincidence, or do we connect to the Alef, to the Light of the Creator within that coincidence? Because really, as the kabbalists teach us, everything that occurs to us, every single thing that we hear and see, everything that happens in our lives, is really a message from the Light of the Creator.
There is nothing that actually comes from the level of vayikar, coincidence. It is the individual who decides if he is going to see something as a coincidence or not. And if the individual recognizes the Light of the Creator in the situation rather than thinking it’s a coincidence, it’s almost as if he has a string through which he can call more of the Light of the Creator into his life.
When the verse begins Vayikra el Moshe, we don’t know who “He” is; it could be the Light of the Creator, or it could not be the Light of the Creator. But when Moses sees the Alef - even though it’s small, even though it’s hidden - it means we recognize it as a message from the Light of the Creator; it’s like we’re saying, “I’m hearing this not from somebody else, I’m hearing this from the Creator.” And when we know this is occurring from the Creator, we call the Light of the Creator to be revealed even more into our lives. Then, when the verse continues with vayedaber Hashem elav meohel moed lemor, it becomes even clearer that it is the Light of the Creator speaking to the individual.
Vayikra el Moshe, “He called to Moses,” represents all of those times a day when things happen, when we see or hear things, and we have a choice to make - whether we decide it’s a coincidence or not. Because when you see a coincidence, you connect only to the vayikar, and you don’t see the little Alef, you don’t see the Light of the Creator in it, and therefore you never go to the second half of the verse - vayedaber Hashem elav meohel moed lemor. You never gain a deeper revelation of the Light of the Creator to you.
As the Zohar makes clear, the Light of the Creator is never revealed in its totality to an individual. It always begins with what would seem to be a coincidence. Therefore, the test for the individual is whether he will see the little Alef, the Light of the Creator in it. If yes, then the Creator will reveal more and more to you, and the messages and their source will become clearer and clearer. But if we keep missing the non-coincidental situations and deciding they are coincidental, which unfortunately we often do, then we keep connecting to the first four letters, the vayikar, the coincidence, and we don’t find the message of the Light of the Creator in it. As such, we never get the next part of the verse. We don’t get clearer revelations.
One of the important understandings we receive on this Shabbat is that if we want to gain clarity and a total revelation of the Light of the Creator, we have to make sure that in every situation that happens to us every single day, instead of thinking it is a coincidence, we find the little Alef, the Light of the Creator, in it. As the Zohar tells us, the Light of the Creator is never revealed to us directly. It is always revealed and then concealed, and only the individual who grabs that initial slight revelation merits the next, greater revelation. Therefore, there is no way for an individual to grow in his connection to the Light of the Creator unless he’s constantly finding the Alef, the Light of the Creator, in the coincidence. And only then is the Light revealed more and more to the individual.