Parshas Eikev – The Manna and Wealth.

This week in the Torah:

Moses recounts how the Jews were sustained by the Manna for the forty years spent in the desert.

The Manna:

The Manna descended from the sky each day. Each person then collected a totally sufficient amount for everyone in their household. Fine stones and jewels descended along with it. While the Manna never changed its appearance, the people tasted in it any flavor they wished.

The effects:

On one hand, this provided wealth: a) it came from Heaven, b) it could taste like anything one desired and c) was accompanied by real gems. On the other hand, it felt somewhat like poverty, for a) it was not storable – no one could save for the morrow, as one’s own sustainable possession, b) the people could not see tangible substance to the flavors they were experiencing.

Question:

How did wealth and poverty exist together in the same Manna?

Explanation:

Because of the very fact that the Manna was Divine and infinite (innumerable flavors, etc.), the Manna remained in G-d’s hands – to be given to the Jews for that day only, (day by day). And, for the same reason, the (innumerable – infinite) flavors were not visible to the physical eye.

In other words:

The Manna itself was Divine and wealth-giving. The feeling of lack was only from physical, limited man’s perspective.

The lesson:

All benevolence from Heaven is given to us in a good and reliable manner. Poverty is man’s own doing. This should inspire us to spend less time and energy interfering with the Divine flow of sustenance, and more time appreciating that it is indeed G-d’s benevolence – and guaranteed at that.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 4, Eikev)

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