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    A debate between God & Moses – Vayikra

    vayikraThe tiny alef at the end of the word Vayikra has aroused the mind of countless generations.

    Normally every letter of the Chumash is written in standard size, neither bigger nor smaller than the others. This alef is an exception, and the Ba’al HaTurim explains it as part of a disagreement between Moses and the Almighty.

    The word itself – with an alef – means “And He called”; without an alef it is vayikar, “And He happened”.

    There is a vayikar in Num. 23:24, when God happened upon Bil’am, which means that the Creator had not nominated Bil’am for distinction from the moment of creation but simply used him when he happened to be there.

    With Moses, however, the Divine plan included Moses from the beginning. God worked out when He made the world that there would be a Moses, whose role was to lead the people and bring them the Torah. Moses was always present in the Divine mind and when the time came God called to him.

    Moses, however, when he came to write the Torah at God’s command, did not want to show off or big-note himself, so he wanted to write merely vayikar as if it just happened to be his good fortune to be there when God needed someone.

    Moses said, “Vayikar!” God insisted, “Vayikra!” God won the tussle. Moses had to comply, but he wrote the alef small in order to record his reluctance.

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