Israel Forever

For the week ending 7 February 2009 / 13 Shevat 5769

Hope from Manna

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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The financial crisis that has caused so many people to lose their source of a livelihood is a challenge faced by Jews in Israel as well as people throughout the world.

When one reflects, however, on the lesson to be learned from this week's Torah portion, he is saved from despair despite his seemingly desperate situation. For forty years in the wilderness on their way to Eretz Yisrael our ancestors subsisted on manna from Heaven. This constituted a national experience of totally relying on G-d, which serves as a reassurance in the toughest times that we will survive.

Manna did not come down in wholesale amounts, only one day's supply at a time, so that Jews would always maintain their sense of dependence on Heaven. Perhaps the sudden loss of savings and jobs is intended as a reminder to abandon our sense of self-confidence and turn our eyes towards Heaven as the only guarantee of Israel forever.

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