Monday, March 26, 2007
Revelation in Stages - Parshas Vayikra
Rav Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl asks in a short piece on Parshas Vayikra in Meor Einayim, "Why is it that the pasuk starts out "וַיִּקְרָא, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה" and then says " וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֵלָיו, מֵאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר?" It starts out saying that He called to Moshe, but doesn't specify who is calling out to Moshe, like the Torah usually does when it says something like "Vayomer Hashem el Moshe Laimor." Then, in the next phrase, the pasuk reveals who is calling to Moshe. Why does the Torah word the pasuk this way?
He answers that sometimes a person is so accustomed to darkness and a lack of revelation of Hashem's presence, that he can't handle Hashem revealing Himself to the person all at once. Reb Nachum gives the following mashal: There was a person who grew up his entire life in complete and utter darkness. If you would lead him outside into the light, he would not be able to tolerate it at all. Therefore, you should make a slight crack in the wall, to let a little bit of light through. Once he gets accustomed to that, widen the crack, and so on until it is the size of a window. At that point, the person will be ready and you can lead him into the light.
So too with the Jewish people, Hashem first brought the ten makos, then took them out of Mitzrayim, then split the sea, and only some time after that, did Hashem reveal Himself at Ma'amad Har Sinai.
And so too with each individual, we are so steeped in avairos and darkness, that Hashem wants to call out to us to do teshuva, and reveal himself to us. But we wouldn't be able to handle it. So Hashem reveals himself in "small" signs of Hashgacha pratis. For instance, a person is about to do an aveira, and one particular time something outside his control prevents him from being able to carry out his plans. Hashem is calling to the person though that event, but at the beginning we don't realize the message we're hearing is from Hashem. Only later, do we realize that Hashem was with us and calling out to us to leave our darkness the whole time. (See Yitz's piece at A Waxing Wellspring on this topic here)
That is why the pasuk starts off by saying "he called to Moshe" without specifying who was calling. At the beginning, a person doesn't realize it's Hashem calling out to him. But the "vayidabair Hashem eilav" later reavels its self and we can become aware that it was Hashem speaking to us from the beginning, calling out to us to do teshuva.
-The picture is of Rav Dovid Twersky of Tolna, grandson of the Meor Einayim, courtesy of Answers.com