The Little Aleph By Avi Hirt


This week the Sefer of VaYikra begins, primarily discussing Korbanot along with other challenging subjects. In the first words of the Parashah, “VaYikra el Moshe,”  a small aleph is in “VaYikra.”  The obvious question is why is their a small aleph in the word Vayikra, furthermore in the first word of a new Sefer?  What message is the Torah providing by placing the small aleph in this location?

The Sefat Emet suggests the following answer: The letter aleph comes from the Hebrew word “Aluf,” which means “champion” or “greatness.” When learning a new Sefer, one may experience an intimidation and feel that the book cannot be learned. The Torah applies this idea by using the little aleph to show that all one needs to learn a difficult topic is a little greatness or one’s best try; the best can be enough from which to be asked even if the task ahead is hard. The little Aleph is placed in the beginning of the Sefer to showing that although it may be hard to learn the difficult Sefer of VaYikra, the little Aleph can teach one to use a little greatness to achieve one’s best.  This message also applies to us for life: Some people are blessed with tremendous minds for Talmud Torah, while others are not as fortunate.  We should not compare one to another, and

just achieve our personal best, ultimately reaching our potential of the little aleph, written in the beginning of VaYikra.

Personal Korbanot by Shmuel Katz

The Parochet: Holy or Not? By Eli Gartenberg