It’s Parshas Ha’Mahn Time – A Halachic Analysis

(By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times) Many people will be reciting the parsha of the Mahn before the sun sets today. Some say that is a segulah to become wealthier this section (Shmos 16:4 until the Omer is one tenth of an Aifah) is recited on the Tuesday of Parshas B’Shalach. It must be said twice in the Hebrew and once in the Targum. Others argue and say that it SHOULD NOT BE RECITED AS A SEGULAH. But more on that later. Hopefully, all agree that aside from reciting the parsha of mahn – we should do hishtadlus – making an effort to become financially successful. All parnassah comes from Hashem. But there is a caveat. Hashem told Adam HaRishon – b’zeas apecha tochal lechem – by the sweat of your brow will you eat bread – we must make an effort as well. And aside from ensuring that we have the means to make a parnassah – there are many things we can do to increase our financial stability. Shopping around, avoiding waste, saving through auto-deductions, are just a few things that can be done. There are many more. But let’s get back to the segulah. Where does this Segulah come from? Is there truly anything to it? Is it of recent origin or does it date back for many centuries? What is fascinating is that what is of recent origin is the Tuesday of Parshas b’Shalach aspect of it. The earlier sources recommended reciting it daily, and not just one day out of the year. Rabbeinu Bachya (Shmos 16:16) writes, “it is a tradition in the hand of the sages that whoever recites the parsha of the Mahn each day is assured that he will not lose out in this world of his mezonos.” ORIGINS The Tashbatz (Siman 184) actually cites the daily reading of it and its effect in the name of the Yerushalmi, and add the words, “And I am the guarantor.” The Tur (in OC Siman 1:5) also cites this tradition in the name of the Yerushalmi in Brachos. The Mishna Brurah (1:13) also cites this source. The problem is that it is not to be found in our version or any manuscript of the Yerushalmi. To add to the mystery, the Sefer HaManhig in hilchos Shabbos (44) cites the source as a Yerushalmi in Yuma. Yet it is not in our Yerushalmi Yuma either. The traditional answer that is often given when Rishonim refer to Yerushalmis that have disappeared is that the term is used loosely by the Rishon and that Yerushalmi often included Midrashim that were edited in Eretz Yisroel. This won’t work here, because the Tur specifically refers to the Yerushalmi in Brachos. It must be then that the version of the Yerushalmi that the Tur had is lost. WHY THE MAHN? Why single out the miracle of the Mahn, more so than the other miracles we experienced? Rav Sadya Gaon in the introduction to his Emunos v’Deyos explains that the Mahn was a miracle that was of a daily occurrence. The other miracles were more transient. Although not mentioned by Rav Sadya, even after the forty year sojourn in the desert, the Mahn played an important role. The container of the Mahn (Tzintzenes HaMahn)was placed alongside the … Continue reading It’s Parshas Ha’Mahn Time – A Halachic Analysis