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Talmud Beitzah

The connecting factor between "Manna" and  "Shabbat"; Three specifics why "Bread from Heaven" is advantageous over "Bread from Earth", and their examples from Shabbat , in the specifics of the law of: "My children, borrow on My account and celebrate the holiness of the day, and trust in Me and I will pay (back)" (Beitzah 15b)  (5738)


1. The first time that the Torah mentions the commandments and laws of Shabbat is in our Parsha in connection to the Manna.

And since all aspects of Torah are the epitome of precision, it is understood that the aspect of Manna and Shabbat have a connection (in their nature).

And this is also apparent from the writings of R’ Saadia Gaon that if one finds himself on Shabbat (in a remote place) and he does not know (in that place) which Parsha must be read that Shabbat – that he should read the Parsha of Manna.


Notwithstanding that the Manna did not fall on Shabbat, nevertheless the Zohar states that, on the contrary, the Heavenly blessing for the falling of the Manna in the six days of the week – was on Shabbat. And this is also stated in the Mechilta that “They were blessed with Manna” (״ברכו במן״)

One must understand:

In what aspect is the connection between Manna and Shabbat?

At first glance, not only is there no recognizable connection between them, but, on the contrary, they are things that are completely different –

·         The Mitzvot and aspects of Shabbat are applicable in all times and places.

·         The falling of the Manna, however, was only in a specific time and specific place - during the forty years and only in the Jewish encampment in the desert.

2. One could, seemingly, simply say that the connecting point between Manna and Shabbat is in that which both entailed no burden or work. (קיין טירחא און עבודה).

  • The Manna was “food from Heaven” (״לחם מן השמים״). One did not have to move or search etc. to receive it.
  • The same was for Shabbat. For in addition to the prohibition to perform labor on Shabbat – there is, a “Mitzvah not to think at all about one’s affairs, but rather it should be on one’s eyes, as if all one’s work has been completed” (״מצוה שלא להרהר כלל בעסקיו אלא יהא בעיניו כאילו כל מלאכתו עשוי׳״).

This reason is however not sufficient because:

1.       There did exist certain burdens with the Manna, as the Talmud states:

“For the Tzaddikim is was bread, for the Benonim it was cakes, and the Reshaim had to grind it in a mill or crush it in a mortar.”

Moreover, it also states that “For the Tzaddikim the Manna fell at their door of their homes, the Benonim went to collect it and the Reshaim had to search and collect it”.

This was not an aspect of: “all one’s work has been completed” by Shabbat where a Jew must not even think of his affairs.

2.       On the other hand:

The negation of work on Shabbat involves all types of work – as it states “all one’s work has been completed”. However by the Manna, it aspect is just the negation of effort in obtaining one’s food.

Therefore it is logical that the connection between Manna and Shabbat is in this area - of preparing the aspects of food and eating of Shabbat.

This is also understood from that which, the obligation of the Three Meals of Shabbat, also involves Lechem Mishnah (two loaves of bread). This is learned from the verses regarding Manna:

“Eat it today, for today is Shabbos to the L-rd. Today you will not find it in the field”, “a double (portion of) bread (לחם משנה).

This means, that the aspects of eating (אכילה) of Shabbat is learned from the Manna.

3. Concerning the verse:

 “Behold, I will make bread rain from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather enough for each day, that I may test them (to see) if they will walk in (the way of) My teaching or not.”,

Rashi states (on the words “that I may test them”):

“Whether they will keep the Mitzvot dealing with it (i.e.) that they not leave any of it (overnight) and that they not go out on Shabbos to gather (it).”

In other words, the reason and intent of the Manna is to test “Whether they will keep the Mitzvot dealing with it” which entails not leaving any of it overnight and not going out on Shabbos to gather it.

One must understood:

What is the connection between these two Mitzvot of:

·         Not leaving any of it overnight

·         Not going out on Shabbos to gather it.

Which are both part of the “that I may test them) - the reason for the Manna.

4. This can be understood by prefacing an explanation in the innovation of Manna – which is “bread from Heaven” over that of “bread from the earth” (״לחם מן הארץ״).

·         “Bread from the earth” is connected to man’s effort. Through man’s effort in making a receptacle in the ways of nature (by ploughing, sowing etc.), G-d produces (משפיע) “bread” (which also alludes to and includes all of man’s needs) through that receptacle and medium (דעם כלי און לבוש).

·         “Bread from Heaven”, however, is not dependent on a receptacle from the ways of nature – no effort on man’s part is required.

It is understood that, in conjunction with this, there is an effect on one’s feelings:

·         “Bread from the earth” -  which means that G-d’s blessings are enclothed in the natural receptacle that man prepares -

For even though he knows that the preparation effort is just a vehicle (כלי) and a “medium” (לבוש) to obtain G-d’s blessings, and moreover – that even the “medium” and the “vehicle” which he makes is not because nature is of importance to him, but rather because G-d ‘s Will and Desire is that “G-d’s blessings” is specifically “in all your endeavors” (in other words not through sitting idly),

Nevertheless – since, in reality – the “bread - from the earth” comes through the “medium” of (physicality) and nature, which is accomplished by man’s efforts in his work and labor - this

gives room for a person to think that the person’s “efforts” () are (responsible for) his livelihood.

·         Whereas “bread from Heaven”, where man’s efforts are not involved (אריינמישוגג), awakens within the person the inclination to completely rely on G-d.

According to this it is understood that the test of “Whether they will keep the Mitzvot dealing with it” which entails not leaving any of it (overnight)” is the reason - the intent of the Manna - “bread from Heaven”:

For in order to evoke, within Yidden, complete faith in G-d (and through this – to “test” them), that one’s complete “bread” (and all of one’s needs) come only by G-d Himself, without any “medium” or “intermediary” of man’s labor - there must not be any room for man, himself, to be concerned with his bread for tomorrow (‘leaving any of it”).

This concept is also stated in Midrash Tanchuma:

“Each thing in its day (״דבר יום ביומו) – He who created daycreated one’s Parnassah. From here, R’ Elazar HaModa’i said “whoever has what to eat today and says ‘what will I eat tomorrow?’ is lacking faith”

5. Even though “bread from Heaven”, is mainly and in general, not dependent upon man’s labor – which is why the Manna fell in tandem with the Dew –

in which it states: “Dew is never withheld” (since it I not dependent upon man’s labor, as is known) –

we find, however, that even the Manna was connected with one’s burden (טירחת האדם), as was mentioned above (par. 2). And this was not only for Reshaim and Benonim (who had to go outside and gather it), but even by Tzaddikim. For although the Manna “fell at their doorsteps”, they still had to take the trouble to collect it from the “door of their house”.


Since there are differences in the burden of the three levels of Yidden, it shows that the blessing of Manna is not entirely devoid of the connection with the labor of the person receiving it

(not like “Dew” in which there is no difference whatsoever to whom it falls – it is the same for everyone)

But rather, it depends, to a certain degree, on how much preparation the person “receiving it” has done and if he merits it (by Tzaddikim – very little trouble, for Benonim – more, and for The Reshaim - even more still)

(With this, the precise wording of the verse: “I am going to rain down for you bread from heaven” is understood, which is not like what is stated in the Parshat of the Manna (in the desert) regarding the Dew:When the dew would descend” – for, at first glance, this is a complete contradiction (in innermost matters) :

“Rain/matar” depicts an effluence from Above which comes about through an Avodah from below (similar to actual rain which comes about through “A mist rose up from the earth”).

How is it fitting, therefore, to use the word “rain down” by “bread from Heaven”, which is not dependent on the Avodah of an awakening from below (אתערותא דלתתא)?

But the explanation is (as aforementioned):

Although “bread from Heaven” is primarily an effluence which is above the Avodah of the recipient (like Dew), nevertheless, it comes down in a manner of “Rain” (״ממטיר״, מטר) which also has some connection to the Avodah of the recipient).

6. The explanation of this is:

The nature of Manna, “bread from Heaven”, was a preparation to the Yidden’s entering Eretz Yisroel, where the behavior of “bread from earth” existed. For through, the Yidden, being visibly shown that their Parnassah and needs are given from G-d alone – this prepared and gave the ability, that even when they would come to a “settled land” and transition to the behavior of “bread from earth” – they would not forget, G-d forbid, that (G-d) “gives you counsel to acquire wealth (כֹּחַ לַעֲשׂוֹת חָיִל)”.

Moreover, “bread from Heaven” is not just a preparation and wherewithal, but it becomes drawn down and felt, also in the “settled land”. For since Yidden are essentially higher than the world and nature, the truth is that, even when they “come down/״קומען אראפ״ into the world – and the method of Avodah is (within nature) of a “settled land” – their effluence of Parnassah, truthfully and in Pnimiyut, is not connected with the ways of nature of “bread from earth”.

(not even in a manner where nature, in and of itself, has any effect. It is nothing more than a “garment/medium” to “G-d’s blessing”. And one only makes, the garment itself, because it is G-d’s command to do so, as aforementioned. But nevertheless, the effluence is connected with nature – G-d’s blessing comes to a person through the vessel that he prepared).

However, even the “bread” – the Parnassah which is “from the earth” is in a manner of “bread from heaven” which is especially (איבערהויפט) not connected with the ways of nature.

And this is the true completeness of faith that a Jew has in G-d.

It is not just in a situation when one does not see any means (אויטזיכט) in nature to obtain Parnassah, and therefore there is no alternative, but to rely on G-d, that He will provide his Parnassah in a miraculous manner – like the falling od them in the desert –

But it is also, that even when he does make a receptacle in nature (for G-d has thus commanded so), he has nevertheless, accepted, that his Parnassah is (primarily) “bread from Heaven” – not connected with the ways of nature.

And he realizes that the promise that “G-d will bless you in all your endeavors” does not mean just that when G-d blesses him – it is relation to the (measure and boundary) of the “vessel”,

(“your endeavors”)  - that he has prepared

(even when it is in a manner of “G-d will bless you” – blessing and success)

but rather that (G-d’s blessing) is incomparable – so much so that the vessel is negligible.

7. And this is the explanation why the Manna had to be connected (at least somewhat) to the Avodah and burden of the person:

If the “bread from Heaven” would not have had any connection with the person’s Avodah. It would not have any connection and relation with “bread from earth”. Therefore there would have remained a place to err that:

·         “Bread from Heaven” - which is completely independent from the preparation and Avodah of the recipient - demands full trust and reliance on G-d.

·         However, “bread from earth” -

since, as Torah itself states: “six years shall you plant your field”

befits the Avodah of a person. Therefore, it itself is a proof that, preparing a receptacle in nature, indeed, has a “role” (״תפיסת מקום״) in the effluence of Parnassah.

Therefore even the “bread from Heaven” was in a manner of “raining” – that it should entail bother,

(at least in small measure, as mentioned above,)

and one’s labor – for this shows that, even in a place where man’s labor is required, the realization (דעהערט) should be that the effluence from Above is ( completely unconnected with man’s labors, but rather it is) bread from Heaven.

And this is the empowerment, that even when one comes into the settled land, a Jew should be resolute that even there, where the order of Avodah is – the “bread from earth” – that it is really, in Pnimiyut – “bread from Heaven”.

8. With this, one can understand a puzzling thing that is found in the Birkat HaMazon (Grace after Meals):

·         The first blessing, the blessing “HaZan/who sustains” was enacted by Moshe Rabbeinu “when the Manna fell

·         The second blessing, the blessing for the Land – was “enacted by Joshua for them” when they entered Eretz Yisroel.

At first glance, the question arises:

The aspect of “Birkat HaMazon” is that a Jew thanks and praises G-d for the food that he was just given now.

How, therefore, is it - that the blessing “HaZan”, which we make on that (which is) – “bread from earth”, be with the text (nusach) that Moshe enacted for the falling of the Manna – “bread from Heaven”?


·         The first blessing is learned from the verse “ ‘You will eat and be satiated, and you will bless’ - this is the blessing “HaZan” which is on eating and satiation”.

·         Whereas the second blessing: “On the Land is the blessing for the Land”. This means, simply, that the thanks of the second blessing - “On the Land and on the food” – is not for eating and satiation,

(for this pertains to the first blessing, HaZan – which is for eating and satiation)

but rather on the Land. We thank G-d for such a land that “produces food” ().

(which is like the third blessing – rebuild Yesushalayim).

And this is very puzzling:

How is it that the thanks on (our) “eating and satiation” is included in the (first) blessing, whose content and purpose is for bread for Heaven (Manna)?

 However, according to what was previously discussed – it is understood:

The bread from earth –

including that which G-d blesses the Land that it should “produce food” –

is, in truth, only a “garment/levush” to the root and source of their sustenance (Parnassah) which is “bread from Heaven”.

And since a Jew recognizes the truth that (the source of) his sustenance is not dependent on his preparation and labor,

– even those (labors) which are the garments of nature (לבושי הטבע) (and) which are for the purpose of being a receptacle for G-d’s blessing – however, that it is altogether (דורכאויס) bread from Heaven -

it is understood why the text/nusach of the blessing “HaZan” for his eating and satiation – is the text for blessing of “Bread from Heaven” - for this is the true source of his eating and satiation.

And only afterward does he thank G-d for “blessing” (״בענטשט״) the receptacle and garment in nature (“G-d will bless you in all your endeavors”) – the blessing on the Land – land the produces food.

9. According to all of the above, one can also understand the connection between Manna and Shabbat:

All of the particulars of Manna:

1.       That it is visibly “bread from Heaven” – meaning that it shows quite clearly that one must completely rely on G-d, since everything is given by G-d, alone.

2.       It is, nevertheless, connected with man’s burdening himself, laboring to receive it.

3.       It gives the power that, also in the order of Bread from earth

(where outwardly (בגילוי) it is connected with “Land” and “nature”) meaning that one should know that

in its root and in Pnimiyut is it Bread from Heaven –

are also found in the nature of the aspect of Shabbat:

Concerning the needs for Shabbat:

1.       The Sages states that:

“(The Holy One, blessed be He, said unto Yisroel:) ‘My children, borrow on My account . . and trust in Me and I will pay.

This means that even when one does not have the means, G-d forbid, to purchase the needs for Shabbat – nor even any future prospect that will allow him to earn and pay back the loan – one must, nevertheless, completely rely on G-d (“borrow on My account . . and I will pay”). For the Shabbat needs come in the manner of “Bread from Heaven” – without the labor of the recipient.

2.       On the other hand, it is connected, plainly, with the burden of “borrowing”. Moreover, that law only applies when one has possessions, in which then (the person can) “deposit them and loan against them” (״ימשכנם וילוה עליהם״). However, if one has nothing of his own (״אין לו משלו״), then (the law is) “Do not borrow (and expect) G-d to pay”.

This means that even though, when he has the items to deposit, his intent is not to repay the debt with the deposit, but rather to, as the Sage state: “borrow on My account . . and I will pay – meaning that “G-d will find ( the way) for him to repay” – nevertheless, there demands, at least, a certain (bother and) “vessel” on the person’s part. He must, at least, have “items/” upon which he can “borrow on them”.

3.       The virtue of Shabbat effects and influences the six days of the week:

By having full trust in G-d, that “G-d will find for him to repay” and by seeing the way that G-d blesses his ‘burden” () of “borrow on My account” (through the “vessel” – the “items”), not according to the dictates of nature – therefore also his dealings in the six days of the week is in a manner that recognizes, that the Parnassah which comes through his struggle in making a vessel in nature, is in truth, an aspect of “I will pay” – G-d finds for him (in a manner of finding (an article) his Parnassah in a manner that is above nature ( it is only that the blessing that s above nature became enclothed in a ‘garment’ of nature).

10. According to this one can explain a thing that is understood in Zohar, on the verse: "Let no man leave any over until morning", that all the six days of the week are blessed from Shabbat “in order that you not add or subtract this day from its others”.

What, seemingly, is the connection between the two things, namely that since the effluence of the Manna is on Shabbat, therefore one must not leave over from one day to the next?

However, according to the above, it is understood:

The reason that the effluence of the Manna is on Shabbat – is because the aspect of the Manna is an effluence from G-d which is not enclothed in the vessels and garments of nature. And this is exactly the aspect of Shabbat, as aforementioned at length (therefore even its time supernally, simply, is also on Shabbat).

And therefore it must be in such a manner, even when the Manna comes down into the world. In the effluence, one must not mix-in one’s accounting (חשבונות) according to nature, which manifests itself by leaving over from one day to the next.

11. Nevertheless, on Shabbat, the blessing and effluence of the Manna was only supernally, whereas in this world, the Manna did not fall. Because the reason that we find by the Manna the aspect of “rain” (not like “Dew”), that it is connected with the recipient (as aforementioned the difference between Tzaddikim, Benonim etc.) is because it represents the way that the Manna “falls/ יורד” from its level and influences below. However, from the perspective of the Manna, the way that it is in its “place” (in the level of Shabbat), it is completely higher than any relation with that of the deed of the recipient.

Similarly, the same applies, simply, to Shabbat itself:

(The law) that one must have a deposit, in order to “, borrow on My account . . and trust in Me and I will pay”, applies to the time before Shabbat ( for the needs of Shabbat). However, on Shabbat itself, it must be as if “all one’s work has been completed”, even to the degree that “one must not think, at all, about one’s affairs”.

And therefore “Do not go out on Shabbat to gather it” is one of the Mitzvot that are “dependent on it” – for it manifests the reason and essence of the falling of the Manna. For on Shabbat, it also illuminates below, the level of “Manna”, the way it is in its “place”. Therefore every Jew must be cognizant, that in this, there must not be any involvement (אריינמישונג) from the person, even not a motion of “receiving” (gathering) like in the six days of the week – as it states: “Do not go out on Shabbat to gather it”.

mSichas (and Maamer) Tu B’shvat 5737

Shabbat Parshat Bereshit 5733)

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