Shemot (Exodus): Beshalach > Ch 16

Children of Israel arrive to the desert of Sin and complain that they are starving

  • Children of Israel came from Elim to the desert of Sin
  • This happen on the 15th day of the 2nd month after departure from Egypt
  • Children of Israel complain that they are starving and would rather die in Egypt where at least they had food.

G-d feeds the children of Israel with manna and meat

  • G-d tells Moses: Behold! I am going to rain down for you bread from heaven, and the people shall go out and gather what is needed for the day, so that I can test them, whether or not they will follow My teaching. And it shall be on the sixth day that when they prepare what they will bring, it will be double of what they gather every day.
  • When Aaron spoke to the children of Israel, they turned toward the desert, and behold! the glory of the G-d appeared in the cloud. G-d told Moses: I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, In the afternoon you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be sated with bread, and you shall know that I am the Lord, your God.
  • MEAT: In the evening quails went up and covered the camp
  • BREAD: In the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew went up, a fine white substance was on the ground, it looked like frost and it tasted like a wafer with honey. Children of Israel didn’t know what it was, so they called it manna. Each day, when the sun grew hot the manna melted.
  • Moses explained that an omer of manna must be gathered for each person (omer is one tenth of an ephah). When the children of Israel gathered, some gathered too much and some too little. Yet, when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much did not have more, and whoever gathered little did not have less; each one gathered according to his eating capacity.
  • Moses said that no manna shall be left till morning. Some men disobeyed and by morning their manna bred warms and became putrid. Moses was angry with them.
  • On the sixth day they gathered a double portion of bread, two omers for [each] one, and all the princes of the community came and reported [it] to Moses. So he said to them, that is what the Lord spoke, tomorrow is a rest day, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So they left it over until morning, as Moses had commanded, and it did not become putrid, and not a worm was in it.
  • Children of Israel ate the manna for 40 years until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

Shabbat is for rest, do not go out to gather manna. G-d provides for you on Shabbat.

  • Manna did not fall on Shabbat. Some people went out to try to gather manna and G-d said to Moses: How long will you refuse to observe My commandments and My teachings? See that the Lord has given you the Sabbath. Therefore, on the sixth day, He gives you bread for two days. Let each man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.

G-d tells Moses to preserve some manna as evidence for future generations

  • G-d told Moses and Moses told Aaron to take a jug and put there an omerful of manna, and deposit it to be preserved as evidence, for future generations.

Rashi Commentary

  • on the fifteenth day The day of this encampment is stated because on that day the cakes that they had taken out of Egypt were depleted, and they needed manna. We learn [from this] that they ate of the remaining dough (or from the remaining matzoth) sixty-one meals. And the manna fell for them on the sixteenth of Iyar, which was a Sunday, as appears in tractate Shabbath (87b). — [from Mechilta]
  • what is needed for the day Heb. דְבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ, lit., the thing of a day in its day. What is needed for a day’s eating they will gather on its day, but they will not gather today for the needs of tomorrow. — [from Mechilta]
  • so that I can test them, whether…they will follow My teaching [Through giving the manna I will test] whether they will keep the commandments contingent upon it, [i.e.,] that they will not leave any of it over, and that they will not go out on the Sabbath to gather [the manna].
  • How long will you refuse It is a common proverb: Along with the thorn, the cabbage is torn. Through the wicked, the good suffer disgrace. [from B.K. 92a]
  • one tenth of an ephah The ephah equals three se’ahs, and the se’ah equals six kavs, and the kav equals four logs, and the log equals six eggs. [Hence, an ephah equals 3 x 6 x 4 x 6 = 432 eggs. I.e., the space displaced by 432 eggs.] We find that a tenth of an ephah equals forty-three and a fifth [43.2] eggs. This is the amount for challah [the minimum amount of flour that requires the separation of challah] and for meal offerings. — [from Eruvin 38b]