The Punishment of Abundance
Thought for the Week:
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's disciples asked him, "Why did [God send the manna every day instead of ] once annually?" He replied, "I will tell you a parable. It can be compared to a mortal king who had an only son. The king gave his son an allotment once a year, but then the son only visited his father once a year. Thereupon the king started portioning out the allotment daily so that his son had to visit him every day. God did the same with Israel. A man who had four or five children would worry, saying, 'Perhaps no manna will come down tomorrow, and all will die of starvation.' Therefore the Israelites had to turn their hearts to their Father in Heaven every day." (b.Yoma 76a)
There is a common proverb that says, "Be careful what you ask for; you might get it." Such was certainly the case with Israel in the wilderness. Their disdain for manna and their longing for the familiar led them to cry out for meat. While in route to Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel cried out to the LORD for provision, and He answered them. He sent quail into their midst. In Exodus 16:13 we read, "So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp..." Immediately after Israel received the quail, the manna began to descend. One year later the Children of Israel had …
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