Yoma 74b to 75a – Understanding the Deeper Message of the Manna

In this shiur we completed the aggadic tangent in the beginning of the 8th chapter of Yoma.  I presented a deep theological message that grows from a careful read of the sugya.

The topic of the Manna came up as a result of the position of Tanna d’vei Rebbi Yishmael that claims that we learn the concept of inuy (suffering / torture) on Yom Kippur from the way that the Torah uses the word inuy in the context of the manna.  Immediately after learning of this relationship from Rebbi Yishmael we are introduced to the nature of the suffering of the manna.

We encounter the position of either Rebbi Ami or Rebbi Assi that says that the reason that the torturous nature of the manna comes from the fact that it only fell once a day.  Therefore, there was always a sense of uneasiness – will the manna really fall tomorrow?

At the conclusion of the sugya we learn of a question posed by students to Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) as to why the manna fell daily and not yearly.  Why not just save up for the year?  Rashbi replies that in order to make sure that the Jewish People keep praying to God the system was set up in such way that we would need to collect on a daily basis, never certain if the manna would fall the next day.

That which the gemara had defined as inuy (divine torture) has been turned into a tool used by God to maintain a relationship with the Jewish People.

In a parallel move Hazal make a powerful statement about experiencing God in the absence of the Divine (Yoma 69b).  Yirmiyahu and Daniel are presented as altering the text of the prayers as established by Moshe because they no longer felt the might or awe of God.  Hazal understand that precisely because God allows the nations of the world to dance in the Temple and enslave the Jewish People that is how we know that we are in a relationship.

If only on this Purim we are able to experience the gentle hand of God in the absence that we feel in the Megila and in life.

You can find the key mekorot at this link.

In addition, here is the audio of the shiur itself:

Yoma 75b – The Inuy of the Manna as Relationship


One Response to Yoma 74b to 75a – Understanding the Deeper Message of the Manna

  1. stanley says:

    Rabbi jeff, is the position that the purpose of suffering is to keep us in a relationship with G-d universally accepted by the Rabbis?

    Do you know if Tosphot or any commentaries agree?

    Where does the role of Thanksgiving fir it this analysis ?

    I cannot express how much I get from your Shiur, I look forward to Tues. anxiously every week.

    Kol HaKovod


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