Vol 26.12 - Beshalach 3                            Spanish French Audio  Video

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Chumash    Parshat HaMon


(Ex. 16:18): The reason that Parshat HaMan concludes with the verse: "The omer is one tenth of an ephah" (Ex. 16:37). The amount of a 'Koseves' (a large date to be obligated for eating) on Yom Kippur (Yuma 80b). Explanation of "and whoever gathered much did not have more, and whoever gathered little did not have less" (5746. Vol. 26 XXVI Pg. 103 ff)



1. In our Parsha (Ex. 16:36), at the end of “Parshat HaMan”, the Torah states:

“The Omer is one tenth of an ephah”.

It is seemingly not understood:

Why does the Torah tell the amount of the Omer, only at the end of Parshat HaMan, after the Torah tells all the details and aspects of the Manna including the conclusion,

“And the children of Israel ate the manna for forty years until they came to an inhabited land”?

Seemingly, the Torah should have stated this previously in the Parsha, when mentioning, for the first time, the amount of the Omer in the Manna?

R’ Bachya explains that it is,

“Because the entire Parsha explains the aspect of the Manna and after it completed the story of dealing with the Manna, it now needed to explain at the end what its amount is”

However, seemingly this comment requires explanation:

Why is the amount of the Omer a separate thing, and not a part of the “aspects of the Manna” and “the “story of dealing with the Manna”?

If Scripture, with the words “tenth of an ephah” is just letting us know the (exact) amount of the “Omer”, which is stated beforehand in the verse, and one does not know its measure - then because of this reason itself, the measure should have been stated beforehand in Scripture. For the quantity of the measure is not a secondary aspect, but relates to the essence of the understanding of the matter.

The falling of the Manna came as a response to the “complaints of the children of Israel” that

“You have brought us out into this desert, to starve this entire congregation to death”.

On this G-d replied,

“I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel” etc.”

and as the Torah continues,

“This is the thing that the L-rd has commanded, Gather of it each one according to his eating capacity, an Omer for each person, according to the number of persons . . And they measured (it) with an Omer, and whoever gathered much did not have more, and whoever gathered little did not have less; each one according to his eating capacity, they gathered”.

It is relevant, in the context of these verses, to know what the measure of “each one according to his eating capacity, an Omer for each person” is, to know what amount of eating per day, “satiates” the person, and in a manner that more than this was not necessary. Therefore, “whoever gathered much did not have more”, and less than this was not sufficient and therefore “whoever gathered little did not have less”.

From this itself, it is seemingly understood that the verse “an Omer for each person”, here, is not (just) informing us about the amount of the Omer for each person (which is stated beforehand in the Parsha). Rather, in stating this amount, the intent is to add an additional aspect the concerns the Manna, which is not connected with the essence of the “Parshat HaMan”, and its falling, in the course of the forty years, in the desert.

However, it is also related to afterwards (as the verse lets us know, regarding) the conclusion, “And the children of Israel ate the manna for forty years until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”

2. This can be understood by prefacing an aspect that requires explanation in the verse:

It states,

“Gather of it each one according to his eating capacity, an Omer for each person, according to the number of persons”.

This means that one Omer was gathered for each person.

There are differences in people’s natures, specifically between an adult and a child – with regard to how much food brings satiation. How can the same amount be sufficient, both for a small child as well as for an adult, and specifically for one whose body is larger than other adults?!

For although, the general falling of the Manna, with all its details, was a miraculous aspect,as well as regarding it consummation, as it states,

“They found in it many different flavors” and it “changed into different flavors”, and it did not contain any waste, and so forth, which is why it is not a wonder that the same amount could feed each person according to his needs -,

nevertheless, we do not (expressly) find that the Sages emphasize that this was one of the miraculous properties of the Manna. This is so despite the Talmud’s stating many of the aspects of the Manna, even with regard to the aspects which are expressly stated in the verse

(as Rashi states with regard to the one who “gathered much” and the one who “gathered little”, that for each of them there remained the same “Omer for each person” – and “This was a great miracle that occurred with it”).

One must therefore say that this (namely that an Omer was sufficient both for a very small child as well as for a very large adult) is not a miracle (and additional property) of the Manna, but that this is connected with the scope of the “Manna” due to the “nature” of the Manna.

3. The explanation of this is:

The sections of the Talmud (in tractate Yoma) with regard to the Manna, are stated in the middle of the aspects and Halachot regarding the affliction of Yom Kippur. One finds in the Talmud there, with regard to the amount of eating of Yom Kippur (for which one would be liable) an aspect which is similar to the aforementioned innovation of the Manna:

The amount of eating that one is liable for on Yom Kippur is a “large date” (Kosevet). The Talmud states that the reason is that,

“The Sages have an accepted tradition that this amount (Kosevet) settles his mind, but less than this amount does not settle his mind. However, everyone of average size has his mind greatly settled, whereas Og, king of Bashan, has his mind only a little settled. “

This is seemingly puzzling. What is the reasoning of the answer?

One could question this answer by further questioning:

  • If the amount of a large date settles the mind of Og king of Bashan, it must be that in order to “settle the mind” of regular people, one requires a smaller amount than a large date.
  • On the other hand, if for all people, a large date settles their mind – how can it be that the same amount should effect the “settling of the mind” of Og king of Bashan?

Therefore, from this it is proof that the amount of a large date which “settles the mind”, is an amount whose measure (מעסט) is not related to the size of the body.

(One could say that this is similar to the well-known debate regarding the amount in Halachot and the laws of the Torah, namely that the scope of an amount can be in two manners:

  • A Combined Amount (שיעור מצטרף) or
  • An Essential Amount (שיעור עצמי).

The Rogotchover Gaon elaborates applies this to many of the laws, beginning with the general debate between R’ Yochanan and Reish Lakish with regard to a half-measure (חצי שיעור), whether it is prohibited in the Torah.

(Note: a 'Chatzi-shiur' (half measure) is the halachic status of prohibitions performed with less than the quantity proscribed by Torah law. C.f. http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/3095229/jewish/The-Essence-of-Chatzi-Shiur.htm)

He explains that this is a debate in the general scope of the prohibited amount.

  • According to R’ Yochanan, where half-amount that is Biblically prohibited, it refers to a “Combined Amount”.  This means that it is comprised of parts that combine together to make a complete amount. Therefore, even on something less than the full measure, it “has the name (of the prohibition) upon it”.

(it is just that one is liable for the punishment of the prohibition, only when the combination reaches the entire amount).

  • Whereas Reish Lakish maintains that the amount that is prohibited is an “Essential Amount”. Therefore, when there is less than this full measurement, “it is nothing” (לאו כלום הוא). At the very onset, the threshold of the prohibition which the Torah prohibited, has not occurred).

4. The explanation of this is:

 In the vitality of the soul that enlivens the body, there are (in general) two things:

  1. The scope of the “General Vitality” (חיות כללי) which enlivens the entire body equally. In this vitality, there is no distinction between the manner that it enlivens the head versus that of the other parts of the body. For all of them, the vitality is equal. This means that the reason that a person lives, that he is alive – is equal in the entire body.

Just as in this General Vitality, there are no differences, in the same body, between the brain in the head versus the heel of the foot, since this General Vitality is not measured and bounded according to the parts of the body which it enlivens. So too, there is also no difference in the General Vitality between one person’s body and another person’s body. In each of them the soul, and General Vitality of the soul is manifested in the same way. The soul of a small child “has the ability to enliven the body of Og (King of Bashan)”,


  1. A “Specific Vitality” (חיות פרטי), which is measured according to the properties of the body, and according to each part of the body. In each organ and part of the body, the vitality fits the property, and composition of the part and organ. In the head, which is a more refined organ, the (Specific) Vitality) illuminates more than with the other parts, and so too with each organ according to its property. In this vitality, there are also found differences between one person’s body and the next.


The connection between the soul and the ‘vitality of the soul’ with the body, which is accomplished, as is known, through eating, also contains two manners (- measurements) of eating:


  1. The amount of eating which is connected with the general connection of the soul and body, with the General Vitality, which accomplishes that the body should be “alive”. For since this aspect (namely that which the body is alive) is not comprised (צונויפגעשטעלט) of “parts” it is understood that the food that effects this connection, is not comprised of the combination (צירוף) of parts, but rather it is an Essential Amount (שיעור עצמי). Therefore, in this amount of food, there is no difference between one body and another. This is why the “The Sages have an accepted tradition that this amount”, “settles his mind” (the opposite of affliction) of each person in “the entire world”. Even for “Og king of Bashan”. This is an Essential Amount, like the vitality of the soul, the General Vitality of the body is not “distributed”.


  1. The amount of food which is connected with the Specific Vitality which is measured according to the vessels of the person’s body (and according to its details). In a manner that however larger the body is, so too is greater the amount of food which is necessary for the Specific Vitality. This is the amount of food which is a “Combined Amount” (שיעור מצטרף). For this vitality is comprised of parts in each and every organ. Therefore, it is understood that even this amount of food, which is relevant to the vitality, is comprised of parts. Each part of the amount adds to the vitality and is measured for each person, according to the size of the body (or the part of it) and fits the vitality of the soul in it, and its parts.

5. According to this, one can explain this with regard to the “Manna”:

The difference between the two expressions (and amounts) which are stated with regard to the Manna:

  • “Omer”
  • “Tenth of an ephah”


  • The expression ‘tenth of an ephah’ emphasizes an amount which is a part of a greater amount than this – an ephah

(as Rashi explains that an ephah is, “three se’ahs . . Hence, an ephah equals (the space displaced by) 43 1/5 eggs“.


(Note: “This is the minimum amount (of dough) that requires the separation of "challah" - 59 ounces of flour (i.e. 3 lbs. 11 oz., or 1 2/3 kilograms)


  • Whereas the expression “Omer” (plainly) does not represent an amount (which is comprised of parts - 43 1/5 eggs). Rather it is one “measure” (מדה).

This is the reason why in the entire Parshat HaMan it just states “an Omer for each person” and “they measured it with an Omer” and so forth. And only at the conclusion (- after) the Parsha does Scripture delineate the amount, “The Omer is a tenth of an ephah”. For the Parsha (mainly) speaks regarding the amount of the Omer of the Manna, not as a Combined Amount, but rather as an Essential Amount which is not distributed (in quality).

For the main aspect of the Manna is to effect the connection of the ‘essence of vitality’ of the General Vitality with the body (similar to the amount of the large date).

This innovation and wonder of the Manna is expressed in that, even though this is a food which (also) effected the connection of the Specific Vitality with the body. Nevertheless, this was in a manner, of and through (פון און דורך), the connection of the General Vitality that comes through the Essential Amount of the Omer.

However, at the end of the Parsha, the verse states “The Omer is a tenth of an ephah” to add that the Manna also possesses the scope of a “Combined Amount”.

(One could say that this aspect is not (so much) related to the aspect of the essential eating of the Manna during the forty years, but (specifically) at the end (- after) of this period, when they entered the settled land (as will be discussed in Par. 8)

6. It is known that the Manna was not just a physical food, to satiate the hunger of the body and make it a receptacle (כלי־קיבול) to the vitality of the soul,

For one could say that if this were the reason, G-d could have showed the same (or a lesser) miracle to feed the Yidden in the desert by giving them bread from the earth –

but that is was also a spiritual food. As the Talmud states with regard to this,

“Man did eat the bread of the mighty . .  bread that the ministering angels eat” (Ps. 78:24–25).

This means that the Manna for the Yidden was (not just a food for their physical body, but also) a spiritual food for the soul, that connects it with its source that enlivens it, to accomplish the cleaving and “attachment” of the soul with G-d.

Just as there are the two aforementioned differences in the vitality of the body with the vital soul, and in the food which connects with the vitality, as aforementioned,

So too, it is also in the vitality of the soul, namely of the G-dly soul within the Yidden.

  • There is the essence of vitality (החיות נקודת ) of the soul, the essence of the Jewishness (נקודת היהדות) that each Yid possesses equally.
  • And the “expanse” (״התפשטות״) of the vitality, the revealed powers of the soul, in which there are many different levels.

This is the reason why “an Omer for each person”, the spiritual food was (mainly) an Essential Amount, which is equal for all Yidden (and as this is emphasized in the section (Parshat) HaMan, as aforementioned).

As is known, the exodus of Egypt was the time of the birth of the Jewish People. Bnei Yisroel, during the entire forty years in the desert, was similar to child (or an adult that relies on his father’s table), whose entire needs are supplied through his mother (or – father). So too, were the Yidden in the desert. G-d provided all of their needs – food, water, clothing etc. “as a nurse carries an infant”.

Just as with regard to a child, during the first years after his birth, the division of vitality and the powers of the limbs is not (so much) recognizable, namely between the intellect in the head and the Middot of the heart. Rather it is discerned in him the General Vitality, which is in the entire body equally. In addition, his food grows him equally – he nurses from his mother’s breast and he gets all the necessary nourishment from prepared food (and all tastes),

So too, it was also in the period (of the forty years in the desert) after the birth of the Jewish People. Their spiritual sustenance (that came through the physical food – the Manna) was mainly the Essential Amount of the “Omer for each person” which is connected with the vitality of the Essence of the soul, the essential connection of the Yidden with G-d, which is higher than the divisions of levels among Yidden. (the level of the “head” and the level of the “foot” etc.). In the same food, during the course of the forty years in the desert, it was “one found in it many tastes”.

7. According to this, one can also explain other details that one finds with regard to the Manna:

It states in the verse:

“And they measured (it) with an Omer, and whoever gathered much did not have more, and whoever gathered little did not have less; each one according to his eating capacity, they gathered”.

This means that the one who gathered little did not lack from the “an Omer for each person” and the one who gathered much did not have more than an Omer for each person.

This, seemingly, is not understood:

The reason why one “gathered much” (מרבה) and the other “gathered little” (ממעיט) is plainly because:

  • For the one who “gathered much’, the Manna was “Heavenly Bread” (לחם מן השמים) – very dear (טייער).
  • Whereas, the one who gathered little did so because he did not feel, so much, the dearness of the Manna (יוקר המן).

As it states in the Mechilta that,

“They said: Now Nachshon ben Aminadav and his household will go out and will gather a lot, and an Israelite pauper will go out and gather little”.

One could say that it is understood that the reason that “Nachshon ben Aminadav . . will gather a lot” was not because of the Manna as a physical food, but because this is a food that “the ministering angels eat”.

On the other hand, the “Israelite pauper” (mainly) refers to one who is spiritually poor (as it states, “there is none poor except in intellect”). For him, the Manna as “Heavenly Bread” was not so dear to him, and therefore he decreased in its gathering.

Nevertheless – “when they measured it they found that they were all equal as it states, "he who had taken more did not exceed (the Omer measure), and he who had taken less, did not diminish”!

Moreover, even the Yidden who “did not obey Moshe and left over (some) of it until morning” did not lack “the commandments contingent upon it”. So much so, that although “(some) of the people went out to gather (manna on Shabbat)” , we do not find that they lacked from “an Omer for each person”.

This is a puzzling and wondrous thing:

If the miracle would have been in a manner that G-d gave them “Earthly Bread”, a natural bread, one could have said that since, according to the confines of nature, one does not visibly see any difference between one Yid and another, therefore the one who “gathered much” and the one who “gathered little” received the same measure equally.

However, here it is speaking of “Heavenly Bread”, which is a miraculous and spiritual matter. Since spiritually, the differences and levels of Yidden are recognizable, there should have also been a difference in the amount of the Manna, namely that each one should receive the measure of Manna that corresponds to his quality and spirituality.

However, in actuality, it was in an opposite manner – a great miracle. Namely, that with the one who “gathered much” (Nachshon) it was less, whereas with the one who “gathered little” (the poor Israelite) it was more. So much so that they both received the same “Omer for each person”.

According to the aforementioned, it is understood:

Since the eating in the desert for the duration of the forty years was in the manner of an “Essential Amount”, which is connected with the essence of Jewishness (נקודת היהדות) – and the essence of Jewishness is always complete within each Yid. So much so, it is as the Alter Rebbe states that “the divine soul remains faithful to Him even while the sin is being committed“. So too, is it with the “Heavenly Sustenance” (מזון מן השמים) which is connected with it, that there are no differences. It comes to each Yid equally.

8. According to all the aforementioned, one can understand that the “Combined Amount” of the Omer, as it states “The Omer is one tenth of an ephah”, is first stated at the conclusion (- after) the Parsha, after that which the verse states, “And the children of Israel ate the manna . . until they came to an inhabited land”.

Just as with (physical and spiritual) food there are two categories and measures of food (an “Essential Amount” and a “Combined Amount”), which correspond to the two levels in the vitality of the soul. So too, the Manna (the “sustenance” of Klal Yisroel at the time of their birth and becoming the Nation of G-d) also possessed both aspects of “Essential Amount” and “Combined Amount” – “an Omer for each person” (plainly) as well as a “tenth of an ephah”.

However, the difference is:

  • While in the desert, in the time of the birth of the Jewish People, as aforementioned, their “sustenance” was mainly from the “Essential Amount” of the Manna, as aforementioned.


  • However, upon entering Eretz Yisroel, the “inhabited land”, where their Avodah was already connected (not with the desert, but) with the settlement of the land, individual powers. Then, the Manna which “they ate what was left in their vessels until the sixteenth of Nisan”

(Or like the view of the Mechilta that “Yisroel ate the Manna . . fourteen (years) after the death of Moshe . . the seven years of conquest and the seven years of apportionment”)

was (mainly) a “Combined Amount” which was a food not (so much) for the essence of the vitality of the soul (), to strengthen within then the simple faith ,but (mainly) for their individual Avodah, which is connected with the entering of the Land and the settling of the Land.

9. From this, one can learn a lesson for each and every person:

Torah is called “bread”.

The two levels of bread in Torah –

  • Heavenly Bread and
  • Earthly Bread

depict, as the Sages explain:

  • The exoteric part of Torah - Niglah of Torah, and
  • The esoteric part of Torah -Pnimiyut HaTorah.

A person could think:

Seemingly, one is dealing with a Yid who has just been “born”. He is just beginning to come close to Yiddishkeit. Therefore, it is sufficient to give him, at the present time, just “Earthly Bread” – Niglah of Torah. Alternatively, even if one should give him “Heavenly Bread”, it is not proper to give him a full measure of “Heavenly Bread” – rather to just give him a “small quantity” (כמות קטנה) of Pnimiyut HaTorah.

How much more so is this with regard to one who has not yet come close to Yiddishkeit. Moreover, for one who might cause, G-d forbid, a desecration of the Manna – the Heavenly Bread – that is given to him, it is certainly not proper to give him, now, “Heavenly Bread” – Pnimiyut HaTorah, and certainly not a full measure.

To this comes the lesson of “Parshat HaMan”. Pnimiyut HaTorah must be given to everyone, without looking at what condition the person is in, and even to one who (at present) transgresses, G-d forbid, G-d‘s command.

One could say that with the other parts of the Torah, which are connected with the revealed powers of the soul, that one must sometimes clarify and discern well, the condition of a person, in order to know whether he is relevant to this part and whether he is a proper receptacle to receive this part etc.

However, with regard to Heavenly Bread –

Namely, Pnimiyut HaTorah, the very aspects that are connected with the Essence of Judaism of a Yid. This means the foundations of the Torah, like faith in G-d and His Unity (and the other principles of faith, as Rambam delineates in the Thirteen Principles of Faith) –

the Torah rules that each and every one is fitting for this “Essential Amount” – “an Omer for each person”. The smallest of the small in spiritual level till the greatest of the great.

For this is connected with the essence of (the name of) Yisroel, as Rambam states:

“When a man believes in all these fundamental principles, and his faith is thus clarified, he is then part of Klal Yisroel”.

This proper “clarification” of the faith in all the foundations, is through the study of Pnimiyut HaTorah as this was revealed in understanding and comprehension. Moreover, everyone can receive this. Therefore, anyone who has the ability for this (מעגלעכקייט דערצו), one must give it to him.

10. Yud Shvat, the day of the Hilulah of the Rebbe, the Nasi Doreinu (leader of our generation) occurs, in many years (like this year) in the week of Parshat Beshalach. Therefore, it is understood that the “deeds, Torah and Avodah” of the Baal Hilulah have a connection and are alluded to, in our Parsha.

One sees that this was of the main Avodah’s of the Baal Hilulah,

  1. Spreading
  2. Your wellsprings
  3. Outward

Seemingly, since it is speaking of Yidden who are found outside (חוצה), one could think that for such a Yid, it is sufficient when one gives him water that was taken from a river, which comes from a spring. It is not necessary to bring him the spring itself.

Yet, on this, we have a clear directive. Namely that the springs themselves must be brought to the outside (חוצה). Moreover, it is not sufficient to give him just drops from the spring, but it must be in a manner of spreading (הפצה), a full measure.

As aforementioned, when one gives someone “an Omer for each person” of “Heavenly Bread”, so much so, that one also feels that its taste is like “a wafer with honey”, that one can have pleasure from, and in the loftiest manner,

and through walking in his path “that he has shown us of his paths and we will walk in his ways forevermore” - that we hasten the fulfillment of the promise of King Moshiach (מלכא משיחא) in the chamber of Moshiach. That through the spreading of the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov outward that “the master will come" - King Moshiach -speedily and in our days, mamosh.

MSichas Shabbat Parshat Beshalach (Yud-Alef Shvat) 5745, Yud-Tes Kislev 5715

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