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Real Reliance

Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the Sefer, Fascinating Insights: Torah Perspectives On Unique Topics. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

Real Reliance

מן represents Parnassa and as the Yerushalmi states one who says theפרשה  ofמן  every day is assured that his food won’t be lacking.[1] The Levush says it teaches us that Hashem provides each day’s sustenance just as He did with the מן each day in the Midbar. Indeed, on Tuesday Parshas Beshalach we say פרשת המן as a Segula for Parnassa. We are told in regard to the מן that everyone gathered according to how much he eats whether they took more or less. The portion for everyone was the same: an Omer.[2] The same applies with Parnassa as it is fixed from Rosh Hashanah whether we put in more effort or not.[3] This is alluded to in the custom of dipping our Challah in honey: our Parnassa is set from Rosh Hashana and the מן represents reliance on Hashem. In regard to the מן (symbolizing Challah[4]) it says כצפיחת בדבש, like a cake fried in honey.[5] Dipping the Challah in honey represents that we rely on Hashem for Parnassa. Is it any surprise that מן is from the term אמונה?! Indeed, מן הוא[6] comprises the word אמונה. We are taught it is called מן because [7]מן הוא—meaning it is beyond intellect, complete Emuna.[8]


With acquiring this Emuna one attains the proper outlook. In the town of Brisk a fire broke out and it seemed a neighboring store would be burned down. The investor told the storeowner I’ll buy half of your goods for a cheaper price and if your store burns down, I’ll lose out. However, if it doesn’t then I gain. He declined the offer. In the end the store didn’t burn down making the owner feel smart and arrogant. R’ Chaim Brisker said really what he did wasn’t smart since according to the laws of nature it should have burned down and therefore he should have sold it. He said we see that if there is a decree from Hashem not to lose your money, you won’t lose it even if you’re foolish.


In another story with R’ Chaim Brisker someone complained to him about a competitor in a similar type of store near him who was successful whereas he wasn’t. R’ Chaim replied sharply this is because you are running two stores: yours and his and this consumes up your energy.


Parshas Beshalach, which speaks about the מן, is saturated with Emuna in addition to what we already mentioned. The end of Parshas Beshalach deals with Amalek who is the opposite of Emuna as it says אז נבהלו אלופי אדום[9] and soon after they started up with us. The Jews asked היש ה’ בקרבנו אם אין, is Hashem in our midst or not.[10] This was a problem in Emuna. Therefore, the next words are ויבא עמלק, the antithesis of Emuna ( עמלקis the same equivalent as ספק). This originates from the Nachash[11] by whom it says השיאני. Examining this word we notice it is composed ofהיש  and אין. How does Parshas Beshalach end? Withעד בא השמש[12]  ויהי ידיו אמונה, Moshe implanted Emuna into us until Moshiach arrives.

[1] It is interesting to note the word מן and money sound similar as if they are related.

[2] Shemos 16:17 Rashi, 16:18.

[3] Beitza 16a. R’ Yeruchem in Daas Torah, Beshalach, 16:4.

[4] As this is a reason for Lechem Mishna on Shabbos and as it saysלקטו לחם משנה (MIshna Brura, Hilchos Shabbos 274:1).

[5] Shemos 16:31.

[6] Shemos 16:15. One explanation in this is being that they only received enough for that day, it required Emuna not to worry about having for tomorrow.

[7] When the מן descended, the Jewish people didn’t know what it was, and they said to each other מן הוא (Shemos 16:15).  R’ Menachem Mendel of Rimanov explained מן הוא as not only a reference to the מן, but also to the people who ate the מן, as they were constantly being elevated and spiritually uplifted by this divine nourishment. מן הוא: They didn’t recognize each other and the positive transformation it had on the people.

[8] The Baal Haturim tells us the word (16:14) מחספס has a Gematria of 248 since there was no waste from it as it was completely absorbed in the 248 limbs (Yoma 75b).

[9] Shemos 15:15.

[10] Shemos 17:7.

[11] Breishis 3:13. Amalek, who descends from Esav, originates from the Nachash as it says …יצא צפע So it comes as no surprise that השיאני has a Gematria 376, the same as עשו.

[12] Shemos 17:12.

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