Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Eternal Message of the Manna, or Let Gratitude be Your Attitude

by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

"And now, our life is dried up, there is nothing, we have nothing but the Manna" (Bamidbar 11). Rashi states that Hashem remarked: "Look at what My children complain about, the wonderful and delicious Manna."

My Rebbe, Rav Pam says that Hashem’s comment continues to reverberate to this very day - "Look what my children complain about."

Rav Pam would say that a tired husband returns from work and finds his kids toys all over the floor. He had a very stressful day at work, and angrily shouts at his wife: "What kind of house are you running, why aren't the kids toys put away?" The upset husband doesn't realize how many couples have gone through much anguish and agony in the hopes of having a child. What would they not give to have a house messed up with toys and dirty diapers all over? So Hashem says, "Look at what my children complain about."

Three times a day we recite the Amida prayer and say "We thank You G-d" for even what we consider to be small favors. Moshe's sharpest rebuke to the Jewish People was that they were ingrates (Avodah Zara 5). Should we not be ashamed that we so often fail to appreciate Hashem's loving-kindness?

According to R. Bachya and Sefer HaChinuch, Judaism is all about expressing our gratitude and appreciation to Hashem for all Hc does for us. Our mission as Jews is to inculcate the character trait of being grateful and expressing appreciation to Hashem and any person that benefits us and does kindness to us.

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