Drash Cards for BeShallach (5761)
by Marc Mangel
• Why did the Israelites leave Egypt?
• Ch 9, v13: To serve God, which is later (Ch 15, v 25) described as an established Chok. These include Shabbatot, the Red Heifer, and the treatment of monetary claims
• Rambam says that regulation was needed for the society living in the desert.
• Reb Bachya that Moshe taught the science of herbs, sometimes like Chokim (defying reason) and sometimes like Mishpatim (understandable logic)
• But then the Israelites immediately get manna. All the commentators say that manna is about how to live with the proper outlook. Regarding that: which is the greater test: wealth or poverty?
• Wealth can lead to arrogance
• Poverty can lead to the destruction of individuality.
• Rambam also said that The Torah was given only to those who ate manna, which implies that individuals who study Torah must be freed of the burdens of earning a living.
• Alternatively, Ma’Asei HaShem says that the Torah was given only to those who are satisfied with what they have.
• After manna we have the battle with Amalek (Ch 17, v8) and see Joshua’s gift of leadership.
• Putting these together, we learn that before you can serve god 1) the people must have food and 2) they may have to fight evil.