DAILY DOSE OF THE DIVINE
Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman
In this week's Torah portion, we have a description of the heavenly manna which sustained the Children of Israel in the desert for forty years. The Torah informs us that the allotments of manna were delivered on a daily basis.
In this week's Torah portion, we have a description of the heavenly manna which sustained the Children of Israel in the desert for forty years. The Torah informs us that the allotments of manna were delivered on a daily basis. The manna had many miraculous properties: It could give you spiritual insight into the Torah, it was completely absorbed within the body, and it would taste like whatever you wanted it to.
So let me ask you: With all of these miraculous properties, why didn't Hashem simply cause a forty year supply to drop down all in one shot? That would have been even more miraculous! Why did He instead choose to deliver it on a daily basis, where we had to trouble ourselves with gathering it every day?
The idea is that Hashem wants us to come to Him each and every day. He wants us to have a relationship with Him; He wants to hear from His children. In truth, this is one of the very first lessons taught in the Torah. After the original sin of Adam, Hashem meted out punishments to each of the participants involved. One of the punishments given to the snake is that he will now have to crawl on his belly and be forced to eat from the dust of the earth. So, while other animals must seek their sustenance, the snake will have his food readily available wherever he turns, since dust is readily available all over the world. At first glance, having a constant supply of food would appear to be a blessing. The snake seems to have it made in the shade!
Our rabbis explain that this is, in fact, the ultimate curse. In other words, Hashem is telling the snake, "Because you are my creature, I will give you all of the sustenance that you need to survive. However, I am banishing you from before Me. I don't want to ever see you again. I don't want you to come to Me for anything. I don't even want to have a minimal relationship with you."
Conversely, Hashem desires the exact opposite from mankind. There is no difference between the heavenly bread which we received on a daily basis in the desert so many years ago and the earthly benevolence which we still receive from Hashem even today. Each day we get up and pray anew for our daily sustenance, taking nothing for granted. We have to pray and thank the Almighty every day for giving us yet another day of life. We recite blessings each day, thanking Hashem again for what we received today.
We think we might have it all already. Wrong! Tomorrow morning, we start from scratch. Each day Hashem is giving us our portion of manna once again, insuring our continued close relationship with Him.
Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman writes from Atlanta.
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