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Vayikra. The Power of Preparation

Please discuss:

  • What is more authentic - a spontaneous feeling, or a moment that you have prepared for?

  • Do prophets prepare to talk to God or does it just happen?

  • Is a vacation better if you plan for it? How about a business meeting? A date?

“And He called to Moses, and the Lord spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying” (Vayikra 1:1)

Many commentators have dealt with the dual calling, the repeated verb, in the opening line of Vayikra. Frequently, a new section of the Torah begins with the phrase: “And the Lord spoke to Moses saying.” Here, God “CALLED to Moses, and the Lord SPOKE to him.” Why the double communication? Rashi addresses this element of repetition:

For every communication [between God and Moses], whether denoted by the expressions: “And He spoke,” “and He said,” “and He commanded,” all were preceded by a prior summons [ויקרא]; This is an expression of affection, the same expression employed by the ministering angels [when addressing each other], as it says, “And one called (וְקָרָא) to the other…” (Isa. 6:3). To the prophets of the nations of the world, however, He revealed Himself through expressions denoting coincidence and impurity, as the verse says, “and God happened upon (וַיִּקָּר) Balaam” (Num. 23:4).

Rashi has a habit of opening each and every book of the Torah with a comment about God’s love for Israel. Here Rashi suggests that God calls out to Moses before engaging him in conversation or instruction, giving him the opportunity to prepare himself and to enter the divine encounter in the appropriate frame of mind. God is sensitive to Moses