This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein.
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmothers Channah Freidel Bas Sarah, and Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19.-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken in terror attacks (Hashem Yikom Damam), and a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
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וַיִּקְרָא ● Vayikra
“So Far, Yet so Close”
On the one hand, “Vayikra” is not a common opening to a Parsha, but on the other hand, it does not appear to to be particularly significant at first glance. That said, it is fair to ask why the third book of the Torah begin with the phrase, “And He called”? On the one hand, why only here does the Torah open the discussion with this phrase? And on the other hand, what is the deeper significance of this seemingly mundane expression, “and He called”?
The expression of “Kriyah,” or “calling out,” incredibly enough, has a dual nature which appears to communicate opposite connotations. On the one hand, “Vayikra” would appear, at first glance, to connote distance. One calls out to someone who is far away. Hashem called out to Adam who had just sinned and effectively created distance between himself and Hashem. In the case of Parshas Vayikra, Hashem called out from the Ohel Mo’eid to Moshe Rabbeinu who was patiently waiting outside the Mishkan. Once Hashem’s cloud hovered over the Mishkan, until Moshe was called from afar, he could not enter and engage with Hashem.
And yet, on the other hand, Rashi [Vayikra 1:1] indicates that the expression of “Vayikra” is one of Chibah, or affection, that Hashem was intimating that there was an apparent closeness between Him and Moshe.
Of course, there is no real contradiction. We might suggest that it is specifically the natural distance that necessitates the “calling out,” the first step in the effort to bridging the gap in between oneself and the other. It is the desire for closeness that exists when two parties are distant from one another.
But, based on Rashi’s explanation, perhaps it is not just the distance that makes the heart grow fonder, but more fundamentally, “Vayikra” implies that it is the deep-seated “affection” and closeness that one feels for another that motivates one to “call out” to the other, regardless of the distance. Apparently, the physical distance is only incidental, external, and inconsequential. Really, the two parties are fundamentally close and connected, even if, right now, they are physically distant. The “call” is just a reminder of that closeness.
When Hashem “called out” to Adam, yes, it was a personal invitation to return, despite the distance. But, perhaps more fundamentally, it was a reminder that Adam was connected to Hashem, that Hashem still loved him despite the fact that he had strayed. In the case of our Parsha, Hashem’s loftiness and holiness overwhelmed the Mishkan making it seemingly so that a relationship with Hashem could not be possible. The distance was profound. And yet, Hashem “called out” and invited Moshe to teach him and the B’nei Yisrael the rules of Korbanos or offerings, from the root word “Karav” which means to “come close.” While it was a “calling” to bridge the gap between man and Hashem, two seemingly most distant entities, at the same time, it was an affectionate reminder that, all along, these two entities were really only one unit, such that the closeness could not possibly be greater.
Of course, Hashem is the King, and yet, He is our Father. He created a world which situates us at a natural distance from Him, and yet, a portion of Him somehow exists within each of us, so that each of us has constant access. He is so far, yet so close.
Perhaps Vayikra can serve us in both of these positions. Whenever we feel like we’re apart from our Creator (a feeling that perhaps we should feel sometimes), “Vayikra” enables us to bridge any gaps, to simply “call out” to Hashem, because, after all, He is only a “call” away. But, “Vayikra” can also be that reminder that distance is inconsequential, when Hashem is part of us, How we want to and can “call” Him, by Name, as it were, and know that He hears everything.
May we all be Zocheh to experience closeness with Hashem in our lives today and close every gap, always feeling that closeness as His Shechinah resides among us with the coming of the Geulah, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a Great Shabbos!
Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg