March 5, 2014
This week we begin the middle book of the Torah, Leviticus. The Hebrew name for this book comes from its first word, Vayikra: God called. There is a famous idiosyncrasy about the aleph, the last Hebrew letter in the word vayikra as it's written in the Torah, because it is written smaller than the other letters. Aleph, the Midrash tells us, is the first letter of the word ani, I; therefore, if we wish God to call us directly we must diminish our focus on "I", and seek to limit our egotism. If we can do that, then we, like Moses, will be able to clearly hear God's call, to respond, and so to find the holiness that makes up the central subject of the Book of Leviticus. Less of the "I", and so, more of God. A very nice interpretation indeed.