Today: Recite Parshas Hamonn


parshas-hamonn[Links below.] Today, Tuesday of Parshas Beshalach, is a special day. Seforim tell us that it is extremely prudent to utilize this day to pray for parnassah, livelihood, for the next 12 months.

It is a widespread and accepted custom to recite “Parshas Hamonn,” the portion in the Torah that describes the way Hashem provided monn (i.e., parnassah from heaven) for the Yidden in the Midbar. This can be found in Sefer Shemos, Perek 16: 4-36. It is customary to read the pesukim twice and the Targum once, and also to recite a short tefillah for sustenance beforehand. (Click here for the tefillah as well as for the ArtScroll English translation of these pesukim. Click here for the parsha, including the Targum Onkelos.)

Reciting this parsha reminds us that just as Hashem sustained the Jews then, so too, He – and He alone – provides for each and every one of us now.

With Hashgacha Pratis, Divine Providence, Hashem looks after our every need down to the most minute and seemingly mundane detail.

The following is a short yet powerful essay by Rav Yissocher Frand, which teaches us an important lesson:

One Who Cheats In His Business Doesn’t Believe in G-d

By: Rav Yissocher Frand

Parshas Mishpatim begins “And these are the statutes that you shall place before them.” There is a very famous Rashi on the words “And these”. Normally “these” would mean “to the exclusion of others”. But Rashi says that the conjunction “and” adds to what came before (vov mosif), in Parshas Yisro.

In Parshas Yisro, G-d gave us the Ten Commandments. Rashi here says that just as the Ten Commandments were given at Sinai, so too the laws that are recorded in Parshas Mishpatim were also given at Sinai.

The truth of the matter is that this Rashi requires understanding. There is another famous Rashi [Vayikra 25:1] on the words “On Mount Sinai” (mentioned in connection with Shmita) which asks, “What is the connection between Shmitah and Mount Sinai?” Rashi there answers that just like the laws of Shmita were given with all their rules and intricate details at Sinai, so too all other commands were given with their rules and intricate details at Sinai.

If that is the case, what is Rashi adding here, by telling us that the laws of Parshas Mishpatim were given at Sinai? We know that — the whole Torah was given at Sinai!

The Ramba”n says a very interesting thing. According to the Ramba”n, Parshas Mishpatim and the Parsha of the Ten Commandments were said together at the initial meeting of G-d with Moshe on Sinai (prior to the 40 day period when Moshe learned the rest of the Torah). Subsequent to that, Moshe Rabbeinu came down, taught the Jewish people what he had learned from G-d and then went back up to Mount Sinai to learn more.

What emerges from this Ramba”n is that the laws of one ox goring another ox, of digging a hole in the public domain, or paying workers on time, all the mundane intricacies of life have the same status and were given at the same time as the Ten Commandments. Therefore, Rashi is stating something significant.

But, is it not peculiar that almost in the same breath as G-d spoke “I am the L-rd your G-d who took you out from Egypt…”, the foundation of Judaism, He also told us about our responsibilities when we borrow our neighbor’s car?

Why does Parshas Mishpatim rate the same session as “I am the L-rd your G-d”?

Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, said that this comes to teach us that if a person does not keep Parshas Mishpatim (monetary laws), he doesn’t believe in “I am the L-rd your G-d” either.

“I am the L-rd your G-d” is the theory — I believe. But the other side of the coin, the practice, is do you cheat in your business? If you cheat in your business, you do not believe in “I am the L-rd your G-d”.

Rav Moshe continues, if a person believes in G-d with more than lip service, then the person believes that G-d provides him with a livelihood. If a person believes that G-d provides the livelihood, then what reason is there to cheat? “A person’s livelihood is fixed for him from Rosh HaShannah” [Beitzah 16a]. If one believes that, there is no need to cheat. Anyone who cheats, does not believe it.

That is why “I am the L-rd your G-d” is in the same session as the law of how to pay one’s workers.

There was recently a meeting in New York of the Association of Jewish Certified Public Accountants; an organization appropriately called Cheshbon. Rav Schwab told this group that a person who is dishonest in business is a Kofer b’Ikkar (He denies G-d). For the same reason that we just mentioned — that if a person really believed, he would not need to cheat. One cheats because he thinks — “this will get me the parnossah”. Cheating indicates that he does not believe that G-d will take care of him.

Then Rav Schwab continued by saying the following. “You will ask that we see people who cheat a tremendous amount and are nonetheless, successful. Now if parnossah comes from G-d, how can that be?”

Rav Schwab explained that such people’s money comes from the ‘Sitra Achra’, from the forces of impurity in the world, not from G-d. No good will ever come out of the money that comes from the powers of impurity (Kochos HaTumah) in the world. He or his children or someone down the line will never see satisfaction (nachas) from that money.

The ‘test’ of earning a livelihood is not only a test of telling the truth, of not stealing, etc. It is a test of ‘I am the L-rd your G-d’. Daily, we are put to the ‘test’ of whether or not we really believe. If we really, really believe, then there is never a reason to be less than 100% honest in our dealings with other people and with ourselves.

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  1. 1) What is the source for this (saying it today)? From what I recall, it is a Hassidic custom and should be labelled as such, rather than presented as something more universal.

    2) Some people say it every day. It seems to be in many siddurim. So why is it being featured here as something special for today davka?

    3) The Oruch Hashulchon (OC 1:23) says that our minhog is not to say parshas hamon (daily). I assume he would not be for saying it today either (for all the Litvaks out there :).

    4) Yasher keyach on the maamar from Rav Frand shlit”a. Zeier gut. I think that message, of yashrus, emes (chosmo shel HKB”H), and bitachon, and internalizing them, is of great importance.

  2. Rabbi Bald Shlita (from Stolin’er Shul, Torah v’Daas Yeshiva) told me that perhaps the reason that the segulah for saying parshas haMon on Tuesday (in the week of) Parshas Beshalach is: because the creation of being fruitful and multiplying etc. (Parnasa) was on the third day (of creation). That’s why this day is “Huchpal boi Ki Tov” (“Hashem saw that it is good”, is mentioned twice).

  3. The Aruch hashulchan says the minhag is not to say it “bitzibur”. The Mishna Brura quotes the Yerushalmi as the saying ones “mezonos” (not riches) wont be lacking if he says this and that this is supposed to teach one the Hashgacha of Hashem. The source for especially Tuesday of Beshalach id Reb Mendel Rimanover who darshened on parshas hamon for 22 years. There main reason why this week is that one’s kavana will be greater. there are many reasons for tuesday, rational and not.

  4. In response to #4 – the Aruch hashulchan says that our minhog (his oylem) is not to say it – period. He does not add on the word betzibbur, as you do. Please don’t put your words in his holy mouth. He can speak for himself.

  5. Re #2 and daily recitation: it’s in both the Artscroll and Rav Hirsch siddur (though the techina in Rav Hirsch’s is a bit different).
    No harm saying it IMO if it brings one to a higher level of bitachon and gives some perspective before embarking on the 9-5 hishtadlus.

  6. Tzippi – With all due respect, The Aruch Hashulchan was a lot greater than Artscroll.

    Re your ending comments – People have enough trouble having kavonnoh already. It is a serious question if we should add on new things for people to say when they have trouble being mechaven with all they already say.