web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Vayikra – With A Small Aleph

The-Shmuz

I am the occupant of this body. I am the little guy inside who pulls the levers. Buy I didn’t create the body. I don’t know how to stretch the skin over the facial bones. I don’t know how to weave the one hundred billion neurons that comprise my brain. I am the little guy inside who tells the arms to move, who tells the mouth to open.

So am I deserving of honor? The body that I occupy sure is; just look at what it can do. But I am that little guy inside – small, insignificant, unimportant.

Both realities are correct. Both can coexist as long as I understand that I didn’t create me; Hashem did. Hashem may have put me into a position of power and greatness, but it has nothing to do with me. While I temporarily hold that position, I must act with due deference to my station in life. However, I am not the creator of it, nor will I occupy it forever. This is the balance between the extraordinary greatness of man and a healthy dose of humility.

The Most Humble of Men

The only human who reached a true understanding of this dichotomy was Moshe Rabbeinu. The Torah tells us that “The man, Moshe, was very humble, more so than any other person on the face of the earth” (Bamidbar 12:3). Yet Moshe knew his worth. He was completely cognizant of his position and his power. Hashem said to write the word “vayikra” with an aleph, but Moshe didn’t want to. Hashem told him to do it anyway, and still Moshe felt that it wasn’t proper, so he stood up to Hashem and said, “You put me in this position, and You authorized me to be a factor in defining the transmission of Torah. I am exercising that right You have given me. I am going to write it – but the aleph will be small.”

This is a fabulous illustration of towering humility balanced with a courage and fortitude that comes from knowing one’s position.

Finding the balance

This perception is very applicable in our times. Most people struggle with either a poor self-image or an inflated sense of self. Either that inner voice says, “I am worthless. What can I accomplish anyway? How much can be expected of me?” or it speaks out, “Do you know who I am? Do you know how great I am? Do you know how weighty, mighty and significant I am?”

Both these extremes are false. The correct understanding is that Hashem created me and put me into a position where I can shape worlds. Born into this thing called a human body, I have extraordinary potential and capacities. And at the same time, I am but that little guy inside. I am the crane operator.

Understanding this balance allows us to recognize our significance and at the same time remain grounded. I was created in the image of Hashem, but at the end of the day I am but a creation – and Hashem is my Creator.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at www.TheShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Vayikra – With A Small Aleph

  1. i love jewish press

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Justice Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked.
Upgraded Counter Terrorism Bill Passes First Knesset Reading
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The Chasam Sofer (Yoreh Deah 106) explains that the Torah never commanded us to lend non-Jews money; it only allowed it.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Happiness is not the central value of the Torah. Occurring ten times more is the word “simcha,” JOY

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
Shmuz-logo-NEW

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

Shmuz-logo-NEW

Everything you see – from the flower to the bee, from the oceans to the mountains, rivers, planets, the sun, the moon and the stars – all just sort of happened.

“When Hashem…will broaden your boundary as He spoke to you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ for you will have a desire to eat meat, to your heart’s entire desire you may eat meat.” – Devarim 12:20   For forty years in the midbar the Jewish people ate mon. Guided by Moshe Rabbeinu, engaged […]

The farmer understands he didn’t bring the rain. It wasn’t his acumen that stopped the pestilence.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

We are affected by our environment. Our perspective on the world is affected by what those around us do.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/vayikra-with-a-small-aleph/2014/03/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: