This week we are privileged to begin the third book of Torah, Vayikra (Leviticus). The portion discusses the various different offerings and sacrifices which one can bring either as atonement or as a gesture of good will. There’s are offerings that are obligatory and those which are relevant only due to an occurrence. The most important element is the intention and the thought during the process.
The portion begins with Hashem calling Moshe and telling him the process of contributing an offering and the laws and details. The word vayikro - and He called is written with a small letter Alef at the end of the word. This can be read as vayikor to mean ant it occurred. Our sages teach us that this was due to Moshe’s humility, he didn’t want to write that Hashem called him but rather that it was an occurrence that it so happened that Hashem spoke with him, and not like the was a steady occurrence.
The Beis Avrohom of Slonim adds another dimension to this phrase. Pious Jews would always draw a message from anything they saw or anything that they heard for serving Hashem. For example, Reb Moshe Leib of Sasov was once traveling and a peasant asked him to help lift a heavy item. Reb Moshe Leib apologized and said I’m sorry but I can’t. “You can, you just don’t want to” responded the peasant. Reb Moshe Leib said that his whole trip was worth it just for that one message he heard from the peasant - you can, you just don’t want. Many times we convince ourselves about different things we should do, that we simply can’t, in reality, we can we just don’t have a desire strong enough.
Says the Beis Avrohom, vayikor el Moshe- anything which occurs to a pious Jew, vayidaber Hashem eilov- Hashem is talking to him. Everything that occurs around us, everything we see and hear, is G-d speaking to us.
In addition to the portion of the week we will be reading excerpts from the portion of Bo which discusses the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh and the laws of the Pesach offering. As we all know we are dependent on the lunar calendar. The moon is renewed every month, as do we. The Jewish nation has the ability to renew and start anew, even from the most difficult situations spiritually and physically. As our sages teach us Jews are compared to the moon, they may look like they are about disappear and they renew like a full moon. Our sages teach us that the month of Nisson has the juice to feed us all year. Let us utilize it and be blessed with the power of renewal for the better in all areas of life.
Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin