By Rabbi Shemuel Akhamzadeh
As we are all staying in our own homes tucked away from society to protect each other from the viral Covid-19, one of the hardest aspects of the situation to deal with for most of us may be the interaction with our own children. Keeping children in one place for a prolonged period of time is not an easy task and on top of that the schools are trying to continue teaching via teleconference tools and we the parents have to act as the school principals at home. This is not a prime recipe for a good parent-child relationship. However, when Hashem makes a decree our ultimate good is in it.
This week we are starting Sefer Vayikra where the Torah tells us about the laws of korbanot and the services of the Mishkan / Bet Hamikdash, (where the Shechina resides). The first word of this sefer,”Vayikra” has a small letter alef. Many commentators try to explain the meaning behind this small alef . Sefer Lekah Tov quotes a fascinating Midrash from Eicha in which the Midrash states that the Shechina did not go into galut with the Sanhedrin nor the Kohanim. Rather, when the school children went into galut, the Shechina went down with them.
So too at Mount Sinai, children were taken as guarantors so we could receive the Torah. He continues to explain that the merit to have the Mikdash and bring offerings is due to the school children who learn Torah; this is what the small Alef is hinting at. So perhaps this is what Hashem is conveying to us: bring the Kedusha Home, bring the Shechina home ( Kedusha is not only for shul and Kollel etc.. ) and our children are the tool that literally brings the Shechina into our homes.
May we all be healthy and well.