Shlomo Ezagui

Blessings are the results of our faith and trust.

We read in the Bible that when the Israelites were in the desert and had no food, God made it rain, providing a kind of angelic sustenance for everyone (manna) that tasted like anything they could imagine.

It’s described as “bread” or “biscuits,” and the description “they ground it” was linked with this food. The Talmud explains that for the righteous, it was bread; for the intermediates, it was only like biscuits; and for the wicked, it required grinding.

Alternatively, for the righteous, it fell at their doorsteps, while the intermediates needed to go out and fetch it, and for the wicked, even more effort was necessary — they had to grind it.

Everything in this universe has a purpose. “God did not create even one thing for no reason.”
The Bible tells us, “Behold, I will make it rain bread from heaven […] to test (the people) whether they will follow my instruction or not.”

The people were commanded not to take more than what they needed to feed themselves for the day (or it would become rotten) and not to gather on the day of the Sabbath. Friday would offer a double portion and provide for the needs of the Sabbath. The manna was a test of faith, and the results from heaven to each household were a direct consequence of the degree of faith and trust each one demonstrated.

The Talmud learns from the Bible and this story: “Whoever has food to eat today and says, “What will I eat tomorrow?” belongs to the small, little believers!”

The Holy Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760) would make sure that every day, everything down to the last penny would be given away for the bills at hand and charity. Tomorrow, God would provide.

Rabbi Zushe of Hanipol (1718–1800) had a custom every day after morning prayers; he would look out the window and thank God in complete faith and trust for the day’s provisions, and his assistant would use that as a cue to bring breakfast.

The assistant thought, “Who is the Rabbi kidding?” He thanked God for providing, and I bring him the food. I will not bring him any food one day and let him see where his faith and trust in God will take him.”

The day set aside for the grand “test” came. On that same day, earlier in the morning, someone new to town decided to play a prank on an old man walking to synagogue, making him fall in the muddy water. When this fellow was told who he had so maliciously disgraced, none other than the pious Tzadik Rabbi Zushe, he did not know how to atone. He approached the innkeeper where he was staying and shared this most embarrassing story with him.

“Do not worry,” said the innkeeper. “Rabbi Zushe is so humble and pious, he will certainly forgive you if you only ask. Go to the market, purchase a basket of fruit, and present it to Rabbi Zushe as a gift when he finishes his prayers, which is usually late in the day. He will certainly forgive you.” The tourist arrived just as Rabbi Zushe finished his morning routine and his assistant who was waiting to see his test results got the surprise of his life! God is the one who always provides, “God has many messengers.”

Rabbi Simcha Bunim Bonhart of Peshischa (Przysucha, 1765–1827) was one of the key leaders of Hasidic Judaism in Poland. He said, “When someone does not have a livelihood, it is clear to me what he (truly) lives on… his faith and trust in God.” However, for someone who has all that he needs (and is not forced into exercising and living with his faith and trust in God), what is he (spiritually) living on?”

This powerful connection with God can only happen when a person can’t find a solution in nature and still believes in and depends on God’s infinite power. When someone places hope in anything less, his connection and faith are incomplete.

Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok of Lubavitch said, “Trust (in God) is strengthened through joy and happiness.”

Chapter 252

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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