Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Shavua tov from Italy. In the course of a lecture tour here, on Shabbat morning, I heard the Chief Rabbi of Milan, Rabbi Alfonso Pedahzur Arbib, deliver a dvar Torah. He spoke about the third book of the Torah, Vayikra (Leviticus), whose opening parasha was read in the synagogue on Shabbat.
"With which words does this book begin? 'He (HaShem) called to Moshe and spoke to him.' Before giving instructions to Moshe regarding the mitzvot, God calls to Moshe. Moshe hears God calling him and listens.
Our commentators says that the word "Vayikra" (He called) conveys an important message to every human being: At each moment throughout our lives God also calls to us. He demands that we improve, advance, and fulfill our mission in the world. This call is not meant to frighten, but rather to encourage us. It's a call that gives us strength. It reminds us not only to listen to calls from the outside, but to the voice within. The beginning of the book of Leviticus is an appropriate time for each and every one of us to ask: Do I hear the call?