Vertluch: Parshas Vayikra


We know that the first word in parshas Vayikra has a small aleph. Chazal note that the reason was due to the humility of Moshe Rabbeinu.

Rav Shach, zt”l, asks an interesting question. Every letter in the Torah has crowns and simanim, known as tagim, on top of them. We know that the Tanaim were able to uncover and teach us many aspects of halacha from the style and placement of these tagim. They were actually part of the Torah itself and a sefer Torah that does not have any, is considered to be pasul. Based on this, why did Moshe minimize the letter aleph? The outcome of this action is that the small letter aleph doesn’t have any tagim on top of that letter? Yes, he was minimizing the aleph but he was also losing the ability for klal Yisroel to learn an abundance of halachos and explanations from it. What was the tradeoff and why would he do that?

Answers the great Ponevezh Rosh HaYeshiva zt’l, with a beautiful idea.

The purpose of minimizing the letter was because of his anava; his humility. There were multitudes of halachos that can be learned from his anivus. The fact that Moshe went out of his way to minimize his anivus teaches us a so much more! Instead of teaching us halachos in tagim we received a shiur in what anivus is.

Every person has to understand that the entrance way to performing mitzvos and following the proper derech Hashem, begins with anivus. If not, and you don’t know that others have ideas and can help you grow, then you have no chance and no hope in growing and becoming great.

The end of Parshas Zos HaBracha is a eulogy on Moshe Rabbeinu. If we were writing it what would we have said? That he was moser nefesh as a leader and took us out of Egypt, how he split the sea, etc. But what does the Torah say? Only two words. That he was an eved Hashem; his ears were constantly open to other people’s instructions.

Sforono, by the chait haEgel, writes, that when Hashem was telling Moshe about the Egel he wasn’t as concerned about the actual ma’aseh that was occurring but rather was more concerned because bnei Yisroel were stubborn; they were an ‘am kishei oref’; they were not willing to accept anything.

Every mitzvah can be done on a higher level if we are willing to listen to other people. The fact that Moshe minimized the aleph and we lost multitudes of halacha may be so; but due t that we have gained a newfound appreciation for all the mitzvos in the Torah and they now hold new perspectives on an approach for yiddishkeit, and that was most valuable. We can now perform mitzvos on a higher level and have a newfound appreciation on kol haTorah kula.