The Falling Manna
In this week’s parsha, parshat beshalach, we find our nation has been sent out of Egypt with Pharoh and his men quickly on their tail. We experience the greatest miracle of all, the splitting of the Sea of Reeds. Then, all too quickly, we hear how the nation of Israel began incessant complaining for water and food and desire to have never left Egypt for it would have been better. And in there we find the story of the falling of the Manna.
There are so many aspects of gratitude and ingratitude found in this weeks parsha, but we will take our focus to one point. The falling of the manna.
The falling of the manna was an absolute miracle in itself. It was sweet, satisfying, and fulfilled one’s desired taste. It contained no waste and therefore was fully digestible. Not only that, but we hear the even greater kindness of Hashem that the manna didn’t taste like foods that a nursing mother could not have, so as not to come to harm.
During this parsha we find an incident occurred with the manna.
Two men plotted against Moshe and to obscure his words, in that manna will fall each day other than Shabbat, and therefore, on Friday they will need to gather a double portion. Datan and Aviram, the two wicked men, conjured up a plan to instill doubt in the hearts of our nation. They collected extra manna and convinced men and women that Moshe was incorrect and it will come down on Shabbat too. When Shabbat came they went early to spread out the manna. But when the men and women came out to see – there was nothing to be found.
What happened to the manna?
The birds came and ate it all.
From this incident we come to appreciate the birds. And so, each year, on the Shabbat of parshat Beshalach, we show our Hakarat Hatov (gratitude) to them and place bread out for the birds to eat.
Until this very day we appreciate birds. Birds!
Look how we take such care to remember a kindness that the birds have done for us.
How beautiful it is to be a part of a nation that has so much care and gratitude.
Look how beautiful it is that we have all joined together to take time out of each and every day, to show Hashem our appreciation for all that He gives us!
With Hashem’s help, this project should move us speedily into moshiach!
Have a wonderful uplifting Shabbat!