To join the thousands of recipients and receive these insights free on a weekly email, obtain previous articles, feedback, comments, suggestions (on how to spread the insights of this publication further, make it more appealing or anything else), to support or dedicate this publication which has been in six continents and over thirty-five countries, or if you know anyone who is interested in receiving these insights weekly, please contact the author, Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
לעילוי נשמת שמואל אביגדור בן יצחק מאיר
Please feel free to print some copies of this publication and distribute it in your local Shul for the public, having a hand in spreading Torah.
To Be Grateful
Chazal teach one who has 100 (money) wants 200.
We see this by those dissatisfied with the מן—although they had enough
food every day that could taste according to their desires, they still
Therefore, if we rearrange the word מנה (currency)—which is
equivalent to 100 זוז—it also spells המן, the מן.
Are we so much different? Do
we appreciate the gifts we have? Kings in prior times didn’t have the luxuries
that we do. The material possessions and comforts that we take for granted were
unimaginable a few generations ago. Walking down an aisle at Wal-Mart
everything is available in whatever color, shape or texture we desire and for
the most part, we have the money to buy it.
Not too long ago a new
Russian immigrant to the United States went to a supermarket in America. Upon
seeing the abundance at the produce section, she fainted as she was overcome
with emotion since she never saw so much food so readily available.
In the Russian communist regime, it was a regular part of the day to wait for
hours in food lines. And us—if we are held up for 10 minutes at the checkout
counter we get upset.
A woman who grew up in the
1930s once recalled that she had two dresses—one for weekday and one for
Shabbos. This was normal then as she was from a typical home.
After World War Two, many who
emigrated from Poland to America couldn’t believe that there was a bathroom in
the apartment as they were accustomed to use outhouses whether it was freezing
cold or sweltering hot.
woman described how she lived before the First World War in Poland as her
family was considered well off. She lived in a two-room house—one for the
parents and one for the children. In the children’s room they slept, ate,
played cooked, bathed and cleaned their clothes. Additionally, these rooms were
small. They had furniture which consisted of a bare table and a few chairs,
dirt floors and wood-burning fireplaces that had to be stocked by chopping
trees. Their walls were filled with cracks that let in the cold air of the
winter but held in the heat of the summer. They rode horses to the market and
bathed only on special occasions. In addition, they had no phones, television,
running water or electricity.
When R’ Alexander Ziskind
would put on his Shabbos clothing on Friday, he would thank Hashem with great
happiness. He would think to himself that there are bigger Tzadikim than me who
don’t have such clothing.
Also, he would thank Hashem for his weekday clothing especially for his winter
clothes which without, he would be in tremendous discomfort from the cold.
This was the opposite of
Haman. He was someone that no matter what he possessed, it was worthless to him—כל זה
איננו שוה לי—because Mordechai didn’t bow to him. Thus, Haman follows the
dictum ‘one who has 100 wants 200,’ as he was never satisfied with what he had.
Is it any surprise that the word מנה consists of the same letters as המן. Now we
can grasp why the Gemara teaches a hint to Haman in the Torah from the tree
Adam ate from—המן מן התורה מנין? המן העץ—as Adam was allowed to eat from all the trees besides one.Yet, that is what he ate from.
The same is with Haman in that everyone bowed to him except Mordechai. Let us
take a lesson from this and appreciate all that we have.
Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
Bamidbar 11. See Bamidbar 11:5, Rashi. There is a
saying “The grass is greener where you water it.”
יסוד ושרש העבודה, Tzaava, p. 786, Siman 29. R’
Avigdor Miller comments that this is one of the intentions we should have in
mind in the Bracha of מלביש ערומים.
Chullin 139b. Breishis 3:11, 3:2-3. R’ Yisrael
Salanter once bought water in a hotel. Being shocked at the large bill, they
explained to him that he was not just paying for the water but also the
ambiance and atmosphere. He then understood the meaning in the Bracha שהכל נהיה
we are not just thanking Hashem for the water but also where the water came
from, that it is good for the body, having a healthy body to taste it and so