The group of rowdy boys filed in from break.

"Hey, Danny, check out my muscles! You think you're the strongest? Well, you sure are mistaken!"

Danny howled with laughter. "Ben, give me a break… You don't know what muscles are!"

Danny was first to answer, waving his hand frantically..."Boys!" Mr. Benson's voice was firm. "Please be seated. Open up your books, we are now studying the first portion of the Book of Vayikra (Leviticus)."

The boys grudgingly settled into their seats for class.

Their teacher's voice continued to fill the classroom. "The first verse of Vayikra teaches us about boasting vs. humility."

Everyone's ears perked up… This sounded interesting.

"Look inside your books. Look at the first verse. What do you see?"

Danny was first to answer, waving his hand frantically. "It says, 'And G‑d called to Moses.' But the letter alef in the word Vayikra ('And He called') is smaller than all the other letters."

Sam let out a chuckle. "This is pretty simple. The small alef is teaching us not to boast."

Mr. Benson looked on with approval. "Yes. But there is more. When it talks about Adam, the first man, in the Book of Chronicles, the Torah uses a larger than usual alef to spell his name. Can anyone suggest why?"

Mr. Benson knew he had his boys. They were hooked on the lesson, trying to find an answer.

"Maybe…because Adam was so holy?" Ben ventured tentatively.

"Yes. That's right. But not only Adam. In Adam were the souls of all the Jewish people of all generations. So the large alef relates to every Jew!" Mr. Benson was getting really fired up. He was pacing back and forth in front of the class, and all eyes were watching him.

"Every Jew possesses a piece of Adam and Moses inside his soul. That means, we need to realize that we are special—with a big alef. Yet at the same time, we have to be humble, like the small alef. The big alef reminds us we are special and the small alef reminds us to be humble."

"But Moses was just as great as Adam; why did he get the small letter?" The question was coming from George, a deep thinker (and dreamer) who always sat at the back.

"But Moses was just as great as Adam; why did he get the small letter?"With slow measured steps, Mr. Benson walked to the window, and with a thoughtful expression on his face began to explain. "Moses was holy—true. Moses was also known as the most humble man on the face of earth. That's not to say he wasn't great. Moses acknowledged his talents and gifts, yet always felt that if someone else would be him or would be granted the same talents as him, he or she would be able to do a much better job."

Ben called out with a mischievous look on his face. "So… Mr. Benson, what you mean is, we really shouldn't be comparing our muscles—we need to be humble!"

Mr. Benson smiled. "Well done! The Torah reading always seems to be right on target!"