The letter א “Aleph” makes almost no sound. As it appears in the last letter in the first word this week’s Torah Portion, Vayikra, it is so small as to be almost invisible. A scribal tradition passed down for thousands of years, makes the Alef of Vayikra half its usual size. Do not expect – the Torah is teaching – that God’s presence in history will always be as clear as it was in the days of the Exodus from Egypt which we will commemorate on Passover, just a few days from now.
Seeing the Alef of Adonai in our own day, will depend on our own sensitivity. For those who look, it will be visible. For those who listen, it can be heard. But first you have to be one who looks and one who listens. If you choose not to see or hear, then God’s voice will fall silent. God’s call will be inaudible. History will seem mere chance. The history of the Jewish people testifies to the presence of God in our midst. The future of the Jewish people depends on our ability to hear God’s call.