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March 11, 2022

WhatsApp Chats (Vayikra/Zachor)

I find it sad, yet fascinating, that you can literally be on a WhatsApp chat for years, and it is entirely possible that people will only know you were on the chat once you decide to leave.

If you are not familiar with WhatsApp, then just know that you cannot leave a chat incognito, rather, if you decide to leave, it will appear on everyone’s phone. For example, Ori Strum left.

There is a valuable lesson to be learned from this. How often do we neglect to focus on others until it is too late? How many times are we in relationships with other people, but instead of focusing on them, valuing them, and appreciating them, we fail to even notice them? How common is it to only truly cherish others once they already pass on and leave this world?

When a boy or girl, לא עלינו, decides to leave Judaism, doesn’t it leave a message to the rest of the Jewish people? How is it that we only noticed them once they already left? Did we make it our duty and mission to focus on them, to value them, and to appreciate them while they were “still on the chat”? Did we care for them and respect them properly and accordingly? We cannot afford to wait to notice someone only once they already left Judaism.

This week’s Parshah, Vayikra, is unique. Now, I know what you are thinking: Isn’t every Parshah unique? Although the answer is yes, there is something extra special about Parshas Vayikra. The Kli Yakar says that Vayikra is the first section of the Torah that should be taught to children!

How interesting, right? Vayikra, which primarily deals with the complexity of the Korbanos, is the first Parshah that young children are supposed to be taught? Why would this be?

We can suggest the following idea. The word ויקרא, in the Torah, is famously written with a small aleph. When observed from afar, the word looks like ויקר, which means: chance and happenstance. When read carefully, with the aleph, it reads: ויקרא – and He called, a reference to G-d communicating with man.

There is almost nothing in the world that is more difficult for a child than to feel as if he has no purpose, no rhyme or reason to exist. Human beings, especially children, need to know that they are not in a random spec of time, in a random home, with a random set of traits. Rather, it is imperative that they realize that everything in life is directly from Hashem. He is constantly calling to us, noticing us, and taking care of us. Nothing is random when Hashem is running the show of life.

The Korbanos teach us that we can be – and inherently are – close to Hashem. There is never a moment in our lives when Hashem doesn’t notice that we are on His chat.

Let us realize that life is not random, but everything – including you – has a true purpose. From the moment you are born, Hashem is constantly calling to you and noticing you, and it is in your best interest to notice that small aleph let Hashem in.