January 28, 2008

Mana & Faith

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 5:50 am

Hashem sent down mana from Heaven, food of the angels in the time of the receiving of the Torah. Those who were worthy found this mana right at their doorsteps. What made these special people not only worthy of sustenance but special delivered to their doorstep?

The simple answer is faith but the Zohar teaches us that it is a lot more involved then this. Part of their faith was being involved in Torah study or more so in their case, thoughts of Hashem above, which is what the Torah brings us too.

All the manas blessings came from the Shabbos. It also came directly to the door of those who prayed daily for Hashem to provide for them. You see, Hashem feeds all flesh but as the Zohar teaches, the righteous understand that even if you know you have for the next day, you still pray for sustenance. In the desert, the sages told them not to keep the mana for the next day but to eat their fill, pray for the next days bread and have faith in this prayer.

We learn from the story of the mana that faith, even in its simplest form includes many aspects. Torah study, prayer, shabbos, faith and emptying ones pockets.

1 Comment

  1. BS”D

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught us that parnossa – material sustenance – comes to us like mana. Our consciousness must be directed toward heaven. And then, Reb Moshe, it will rain down upon us.

    Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh in a recent farbrengen delivered Yud Shevat (the anniversary of the passing of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1950, and the acceptance of the leadering of his son-in-law, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a year-to-the-date later in 1951) that there are three forms of spiritual ailments. Briefly, they are:


    A crooked person is bent under the material concerns of the world. It’s as if the weight is rested firmly on his shoulders. This corresponds to the unrectified perspective of the World of Action. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught, this the deluge of materialism – the mayim rabbim – that G-d forbid inundates.

    The blind person, based on the “euphemism used in the Talmud” is the person with too much light and revelation. He sees very far, has grand aspirations and visions, but he is unable to express it. Related to the insensitivities that cover over the heart – timtuv haleiv – the intellect, the vast and grand thought – are unable to find there calling in deliberate, methodological practice. This level corresponds to the World of Formation; the World of Emotions.

    The imprisoned is one who has given up (G-d forbid!) on a better state of affairs (derived from the etymological similarity between being imprisoned and despairing). This person needs to appreciate the power of the Resurrection of the Dead in their lives. That in one split second, EVERYTHING can change for the better. In the language of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, this is what is termed as opening up one’s eyes. This level corresponds to the World of Creation, the mindset of ex nehilo, creation from nothingness (i.e. psychologically speaking, hope born out of utter despair).

    So back to square one. The crooked person is healed by the thoughts of mana showering down from heaven. In effect, this is raising the crooked person to the level of the blind. Meaning, to show the crooked the great wondrous ways of Hashem. That he sustains us by providing for our daily needs in the most miraculous of ways. As if, falling from out of the sky, the next morsel arrives. then the next, until the time when we all bask in Divine plenitude. (This mindset uplifts the crooked past materialism toward the effectual lifting of the body and head upward.)

    To release the imprisoned, we must now raise up the blind man to the level of the imprisoned. Meaning, the vast aspirations and vision of blind are now raised up, inspiring the imprisoned to not only not despair, but to see the actualization of his dreams come true. This is affected by means of the Resurrection of the Dead. By becoming a new person not beholden to the past. This mindset was that of the Baal Shem Tov, that the world is recreated from nothingness at every moment.

    I believe the midrash says the mana was like white coriander seeds. At work today a co-worker was explaining to another co-worker the difference between American snow and snow in Israel. In America, he explained, the snow is very fine. But in Israel, it is hearty and robust.

    Amein, may the heavenly millstones provide us with the hearty and robust physical and spiritual sustenance. The likes of which we so desperately need.

    Comment by Yonason — January 31, 2008 @ 11:55 am

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