Beshalach: Cloudy with a Chance of Manna

Long before the publication of one of my favorite children’s books, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, dinner really did fall down from the sky. After Bnai Yisrael entered the wilderness, they complained to Moshe and Aharon that they were hungry and that they were better off in Egypt where they had food to eat. But before Moshe had a chance to lodge this complaint with God, God stepped in to introduce Manna, an edible substance, saying, “I will rain down bread from you from the sky.” (Shemot 16:4) According to Shemot 16:12, Manna would serve to “satisfy” the food cravings of Bnai Yisrael. The Midrash in Shemot Rabbah 25:3 asks: Why does the Torah say that Bnai Yisrael would “satisfied” though Manna? Why did it not just read that they would be “fed” with Manna? Through Manna, the Midrash explains, Hashem was able to personalize the food requests of each member of Bnai Yisrael.

  • How do you think Manna impacted Bnai Yisrael’s view of God in their lives?
  • Why do you think the miracle of Manna is introduced shortly after the miracle of the splitting of the sea?

Midrash Maniures artistic note: (from left to right) Manna, Pizza, Cookies, Carrots.

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