Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk states שטו העם ולקטו וטחנו ברחים או דכו במדוכה…ועשו אותו עוגות the nation went for a walk and they collected and grinded with the mill or crushed with the mortar…and made it into cakes.

The Gemara asks: it states שטו, that the nation needed to go for a hike to receive the mon. It also states וברדת הטל על המחנה לילה ירד המן עליו and when the tal came down upon the camp at night, the mon came down upon it. This means that the mon came into the camp. Yet the Torah states ויצא העם ולקטו and the nation went out and collected the mon. This infers that they needed to go out of the camp to collect mon. Which is it?

The Gemara answers that it depends. The tzaddikim received mon at their doorstep and the Yalkut Shimoni adds that sometimes it would come down straight into the hands of a tzaddik. The beinonim needed to go out and collect their mon. And the reshayim needed to go far to collect their mon.

The Gemara asks: it states that the mon was grinded in a mill, which seems that the mon came down as kernels of wheat. It also states עוגות which is at the stage before being baked, as dough.  Yet the Torah also calls the mon לחם bread?

The Gemara answers that it depends. The tzaddikim received mon as bread, ready to eat without a need to prepare.  The beinonim received mon as dough, which needed to be baked. The reshayim received mon as kernels which needed to be grinded in a mill.

These two Gemaros teach one point: Hashem provides sustenance for tzaddikim without effort, for beinonim with a bit of effort, whereas the reshaim needed a lot of effort. This is because of greatness of the tzaddik and the wickedness of the rasha.

The Maharsha brings that Rashi in Chumash explains differently. The passuk does not mean the mon actually came down in this way. Rather it would change its taste to be that of something grinded in a mill, crushed in a mortar, or cooked in a pot. Onkelos translates “and they collected,” and adds “that who desired” grinded it with a mill, or “that who desired” crushed it in a mortar and cooked it in a pot. The Nefesh HaGer explains that Onkelos is teaching that in truth it was not necessary to grind or crush the mon, as it simply seems from the passuk. The mon indeed could be eaten in any way, even raw, and it would taste like any taste that one wanted.

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