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Daily Aliya for Beshalach, Shishi (6th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: The meat, in the form of quails, appeared in the evening and covered the Israelite camp. In the morning, bread – called manna – fell from heaven, encased between layers of morning dew. Moshe told the Israelites to gather one omer (a biblical measure) of manna per household member every day. Miraculously, no matter how much manna one picked, he arrived home with precisely one omer per head. Furthermore, Moshe commanded the Israelites not to leave any manna over from one day to the next. Some disregarded this instruction, and next morning found their manna worm-infested. On Friday everyone picked two omers. Moshe explained that the second portion was to be prepared and set aside for Shabbat—when no manna would fall. Again some disregarded Moshe’s directive, and went out pick manna on Shabbat. G‑d was angered by this disobedience. G‑d instructed Moshe to take a jar of manna and place it in the (yet to be constructed) Tabernacle, as a testament for all future generations.

I believe this marks the first time that G-d is angered by the Israelites’ complaints, and it could be directly connected to the people’s being born into slavery. If they were used to being slavery, they should have no problem following orders, and no one should have collected the Manna on Shabbos. It was up to them to work on transforming their slavery habits of hoarding food for the future. Just because it’s in our nature to want to do something, doesn’t mean we should act on it. The challenge is to use our thought process to filter out those actions that aren’t appropriate. This is what the Israelites were asked to work on at this point in their transformation into a nation.