ויקרא Vayikra – a calling

ויקרא אל משה

“And He called to Moshe, and the L-rd spoke to him from the Ohel Moed saying.” (Vayikra 1,1)
The first word in the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) has a small Alef. Why? Rashi tells us that this first word “Vayikra”, which means “And He called”, tells us that every time that H-shem wanted to speak with Moshe, he didn’t just start talking, but He called to him, in an endearing way. In the same language that the angels speak to each other. H-shem also spoke to the prophets of the nations, but not by calling them, but just by happenstance. The example is of Bilam, who was as great a prophet as Moshe. In this it says “Vayikar” – “and He happened (to speak)” – without the Alef at the end of the word. The Alef changes the word “and He happened” to “and He called.” Moshe didn’t want to write the Alef at the end of the word. Moshe was a very humble man – the most humble man on the face of the earth (Bamidbar 12,3) How could he write that H-shem singled him out, that He called him out of affection. But H-shem insisted that he write the Alef in the word to signify this calling. So Moshe wrote the Alef small. (Baal HaTurim)

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