6 years ago Leighest 0
A very interesting concept arises in Parshas Eikev. Moshe tells the Jewish people: G-d “fed you with manna to make your realize that man does not live by bread alone, but rather, that man lives from all the utterances of G-d’s mouth” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Manna is a food that would fall from the heavens for the Jews to eat on their 40 year journey through the desert. But, the Torah also explains that manna failed to provide satisfaction to the Jews, furthermore, it actually left people hungry.
A question arises: How could such G-dly food not satisfy people? More importantly, what can we learn from this to apply to our daily lives now?
Chasidic thought explains that this was because, being a food permeated with spirituality, manna gave people a taste of the infinite (i.e. the inifinite power of Hashem). When consuming a finite food, such as “bread from the earth”, a person will eventually become satisfied, since it is impossible to develop an infinite appetite for a limited taste. Manna, on the other hand, cultivated a person’s inner appetite for spirituality which can never be satisfied, as we always desire to be closer to G-d and his infinite awesomeness and wisdom.
Eating the manna was thus an appropriate preparation for entering the land of Israel, where the Jewish people would be challenged by various constraints–be they the trials of poverty, or (more preferably) the trails of wealth. Because our physical desires limit us, our spiritual desires–like those developed by the manna–liberate us.
Now that we have already entered The Land, we are now tasked with the job of liberating ourselves through spirituality, by studying Torah and the performance of mitzvos. Only by the “utterances of G-d’s mouth” will we be able to thrive and survive. Through the juicy study of Torah and completion of mitzvos in this world, we can recieve the ultimate blessings from the G-dly realms with the imminent arrival of the Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Third Beis Hamikdash, bimhayro veyamaynu (speedily in our days)!
Written by Lev Yaakov (Loryn) Voskoboynik of CTeen of Northridge, CA