It’s Not About Bread: The True Meaning of Wealth

In the Parsha of Ekev, Moshe reminds the Jewish People that God provided them with Manna in the wilderness. In Chapter 8, verse 3 he says that God fed you (the nation) the Manna that you and your fathers were not familiar with, in order to teach you that “man does not live on bread alone, but on anything and everything that God decrees does he live.”

The question here is, why didn’t God simply provide the Jews with actual bread, instead of the mysterious Manna? Wouldn’t that have been easier for the Jews?

The answer is that God didn’t want the Jews to depend on bread for sustenance. He wanted the Jews to depend on Him. He wanted them to realize that sustenance comes from God. So instead of providing them with good old reliable bread, he gave them something miraculous that they could only attribute to Divine grace.

We can extend this lesson to money, which is the bread that seems to sustain us. But in reality, it is not the money that is our sustenance, but the Almighty who provides us with that money. It is therefore not the money that we need to feel dependent on, but rather on the grace of the Almighty. God provides the sustenance that each person requires, in whatever form He feels is proper. For some that might mean money and for some the talents and skills to earn our sustenance. For some it might mean the spiritual sustenance we so desperately need.

It is God alone who determines what we need to survive and to thrive, and in his grace, grants it to us just like the Manna in the wilderness.

May we all merit to receive everything we need from God, and to recognize that it is all coming from Him.

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