Parashas Eikev

In this week’s parashah, Moshe continues his review of the Jewish People’s experiences during the forty years in the wilderness. In the course of this review, he states (Devarim 8:3): “He [Hashem] afflicted you and let you hunger, and He fed you the manna ….” The Maggid notes that this statement is odd. We know, as Moshe himself relates, that Hashem showered the wilderness generation with kindness. Why, then, did He let them hunger?
The Maggid explains as follows. As a rule, a person derives pleasure from material blessing only after a period of lack. When he first receives the blessing, he feels great joy, but after a short time the joy dies out. Hashem wanted the Jews of the wilderness to experience constantly the joy of receiving their sustenance from Him, with the joy renewed every day. Hence He fed them the manna day by day, rather than giving them a large allotment at once. He let them undergo the “hunger” of an empty cupboard each day, so that they would always feel joy when receiving their daily portion.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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