Beshalach: Chapter 29
The story of the manna
Synopsis

Rabbi Yehuda discusses the verse, "Blessed is he who considers the poor, Hashem will deliver him in the day of evil." Rabbi Chiya wonders about "For Hashem hears the poor," asking if He listens only to the poor and no others. Rabbi Shimon says merely that it is that they are closer to the King, as there is no one in the world who has a broken heart like a needy person. We are told a story of Rabbi Yisa who brought back a poor man from the dead. The poor man's soul went to the King's throne and learned that three chairs were prepared ready for Rabbi Yosi, the son of Rabbi Ya'akov, and Rabbi Chizkiyah.

We read of another incident with a poor person and Rabbi Yitzchak, and a dream about Rabbi Shimon and a poor person. Every day the dew of Atika Kadisha drips down to Zeir Anpin and is drawn to those below, and it nourishes the holy angels. The children of Yisrael ate that food in the wilderness, because it was the manna. Rabbi Shimon says that those who are occupied with the Torah day and night are still nourished from it today. When the children of Yisrael left Egypt they had unleavened bread, but now they merited a different higher bread from a high place. Scholars who are occupied with Torah are nourished from a high place.

Rabbi Elazar wonders why those scholars seem weaker than other people, and Rabbi Shimon explains that the Torah scholars eat the food of the spirit and soul, and do not eat the food of the body at all; therefore their bodies are weaker. This higher food is equated to Chochmah, or Wisdom. Returning to the question of the poor, we learn that one who helps fulfill the poor person has a letter added to Tzedek, righteousness, so that it becomes Tzedekah, Charity. More precious than these is the food of the sick, and more supreme than that is the food of spirits and souls that comes from Binah that has returned to become Chochmah, and more precious than all of them is the food that comes from the Supernal Chochmah, which is what the Torah scholars eat. This is because Torah emanates from the Supernal Chochmah. Rabbi Yosi says that all believers must request their food from God on a daily basis, and pray for it, because that causes that tree that contains everyone's food to be blessed from them. Therefore one need not cook food on one day for another day; one must "hope in His steadfast love." We are reminded that "The Righteous eats to satisfy his soul." Those who do not have faith burden themselves every day over food, out of fear that perhaps they will not acquire a loaf of bread. Rabbi Elazar taught that the Righteous shall eat of that manna in the World to Come.

Rabbi Shimon says that every person who puts a desire before the Holy King must concentrate his whole will and heart on it in order to draw the blessing from the wellspring of all. A person must prepare his table on Sabbath night so that blessings from above will dwell on him; blessing is not present on an empty table. The Sabbath is the inclusion of all the other days, and from it they are blessed.