Daily Torah Reading
The Lord spoke to Moses: "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Speak to them and say: By evening you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; and you shall know that I the Lord am your God."
In the evening quail appeared and covered the camp; in the morning there was a fall of dew about the camp. When the fall of dew lifted, there, over the surface of the wilderness, lay a fine and flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?"--for they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "That is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: Gather as much of it as each of you requires to eat, an omer to a person for as many of you as there are; each of you shall fetch for those in his tent."
The Israelites did so, some gathering much, some little. But when they measured it by the omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no deficiency: they had gathered as much as they needed to eat. And Moses said to them, "Let no one leave any of it over until morning." But they paid no attention to Moses; some of them left of it until morning, and it became infested with maggots and stank. And Moses was angry with them.
So they gathered it every morning, each as much as he needed to eat; for when the sun grew hot, it would melt. On the sixth day they gathered double the amount of food, two omers for each; and when all the chieftains of the community came and told Moses, he said to them, "This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a day of rest, a holy sabbath of the Lord. Bake what you would bake and boil what you would boil; and all that is left put aside to be kept until morning." So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered; and it did not turn foul, and there were no maggots in it. Then Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath of the Lord; you will not find it today on the plain. Six days you shall gather it; on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none."
Yet some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found nothing. And the Lord said to Moses, "How long will you men refuse to obey My commandments and My teachings? Mark that the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you two days' food on the sixth day. Let everyone remain where he is: let no one leave his place on the seventh day." So the people remained inactive on the seventh day.
The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey. Moses said, "This is what the Lord has commanded: Let one omer of it be kept throughout the ages, in order that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out from the land of Egypt." And Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar, put one omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord, to be kept throughout the ages." As the Lord had commanded Moses, Aaron placed it before the Pact, to be kept. And the Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a settled land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. The omer is a tenth of an ephah.
From Parshat B'shalach. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.
Recent Judaism Features