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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Very Important! Today Is Monday Of Parshas Bishalach, Don't Forget To Say Parshas HaMan

You probably think I am very confused, but actually I checked my calendar, the Shulchan Aruch, Mishna Brura, and the Yerushalmi, and believe it or not they all confirm that we should be sure to say Parshas HaMan today, on Monday.

If you don't believe me I will go through the sources briefly. In Shulchan Aruch (OC 1:5) Hilchos Hanhagos Adam BaBoker says that it is good to say Parshas HaAkeida and Parshas HaMan. The Mishna Brura (13) writes that this will ingrain in us the belief that our parnassa comes from Hashem and that all our effort have no bearing on the outcome. The Yerushalmi Brachos says that whoever says Parshas HaMan every day will never lack sustenance.

So why does everybody make sure to say this once a year on Tuesday of Parshas Bishalach? I'll borrow an answer from a brief audience I once was zocheh to have with Rav Elyashiv and another one with Rav Shteinman. About ten years ago were trying to organize a program to help people earn Mishnayos for Niftarim. The idea was that you can taker a Masechta and pay a Talmid Chochom in Eretz Yisroel to learn it for you, since they needed the money and for many of us it is hard to commit to learning the harder Masechtos, and even when we volunteer we don't always do such a great job.

Someone convinced us to go to Rav Elyashiv to get his Haskama to make people more comfortable with our program. We were admitted to Rav Elyashiv's room and as soon as we opened our mouths before explaining anything he started to bombard us with questions. (Please do not draw any conclusions from this conversation as it was said specifically to us a that point in time and without hearing the nuances of the conversation which we ourselves may have misinterpreted Why should Kollel Yungeleit learning Mishnayos? What about gemara Nashim and Nezikin? Then we explained the program. As soon as we said the word "money" Rav Elyashiv became agitated and said, "money?, of course it is because of the money!, Now I understand!" (as an aside he then asked many more questions and said he needs to think about it. A few day later he ultimately signed his name on our letter).

Another time I joined a Rav who needed funds to support his "Vasikin Kollel" and went to Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman to ask for his endorsement of the Kollel so that it would be easier for him to raise money. Before this Rav finished his pitch, Rav Shteiman waved him away and said, "money in the morning, money in the night, money on Erev Shabbos, money on Motza'ei Shabbos, money money money that''s all everyone wants. I thought it was deja vu. Two gedolim and one attitude. Now of course both the Gedolim support Torah learning more than anyone and deeply understand the plight of the Bnei Torah in our generation. Few people in the world are moser nefesh like Rav Shteinman to raise money for Kollel Yungeleit.

So what was their point in disparaging desparately needed money for poor yungeleit? In one word "gimmicks". Not that learning Torah is a gimmick, but Torah must be learned for the sake of learning Torah without any considerations. When what you learn, when you learn, and where you learn are shaped by the big "M" that is where the problems start. Money is needed to support Torah. Torah is not a way to attract money.

Parshas HaMan is a gevaltige Segulah and it opens up the Shefa from Shamayim to rain down on us Parnassa B'Revach. It helps us look up and see clearly where the money comes from. It helps us keep our balance and maintain a level head when we get to our office in the morning. All this makes Hashem proud and he rewards His loving children.

But as soon as we choose a day for whatever reason, even if indeed it is a most auspicious day as a great tzaddik has revealed to us, and we treat it like some miracle potion, we can just forget about it. Not only are we wasting our time, but we are angering our Father in Heaven, both with our money chase and by thinking that we can somehow force the riches down upon us, even though we don't it say religiously everyday, and even though it is the only day of the year that we actually say Shnayim Mikra V'Echad Targum.

Here is one more thing for the overzealous who are makpid on Zrizim Makdimim L'Mitzva. Whatever you do, do not say it before davening. If you are going to says it, The Arizal says that we should only say it after davening because a person should not ask for his own desires before worrying about Hashem's needs and clearly with this behavior it is purely our own needs that we are serving.

Tomorrow when I receive frantic emails right before Shkia from friends and family reminding me not to forget to say Parshas HaMan, I will tell them not to worry I am already rich, I said it yesterday.

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