How Involved is G-D, in the Affairs of Humanity
If you look at the way the very first word in the Book of Leviticus (which we begin reading publicly this Shabbos) is written in any Torah scroll anywhere in the world, you will see something very strange. The word Vayikra is written with a small letter alef at the end. Our Sages teach us that the miniature alef indicates that the word can be read two ways ? either with the alef as Vayikra, meaning ?And He [G-d] called?, or without the alef as Vayikar, which means ?And it happened?.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch writes that there are two ways to view the events that occur in our lives and world history in general. For those who do not believe in G-d?s Hashgachah Pratis, His Divine Providence over the affairs of mankind, things just ?happen? and are mere coincidence with no ultimate meaning. However, the believing Jew knows that there are no coincidences, and that everything that unfolds in our lives is really G-d ?calling? to us, with a particular message that we need to learn.
As Rabbi Shimon Schwab wrote in his commentary on the Book of Job: ?The doctrine of Divine Providence lies at the heart of our faith. It teaches that man?s life on earth is not subject to coincidence and happenstance; rather, all of man?s activities, his weal and his woe, are closely supervised by G-d ??
Truth be told, it is not always so easy to understand and decipher G-d?s message in all that happens in our lives. But if we look carefully (and with an open mind) at our past history, we can discover a great network of intricate plan and purpose, which will make us aware of G-d?s guiding hand in the seemingly random events in our lives. And by examining world history, we can also see G-d?s guidance in the affairs of nations. -Torch Houston