Kenneth Cohen


After the death of Aharon, the people began complaining again. This time, their focus was on being tired of eating the Manna, and they called it, “לחם הקלוקל,” that is loosely translated as “miserable food.”

This particular complaint was incredibly ridiculous. This “food from Heaven,” that was sustaining them throughout their years in the desert, was magical. It could taste like anything they thought of, and it was fully absorbed by all 248 limbs of the body. There was not even a need to eliminate wastes, as there was no waste.

The Talmud in Masechet Avoda Zara, tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu reprimanded the people as כפויי טובה, ingrates. How dare they speak badly about such a generous gift? It’s Bracha was, המוציא לחם מן השמים, that Hashem drew out bread from the Heaven.

Ingratitude, is a horrible personality trait. It represents an attitude that everything I have, I deserve. Such an individual only sees himself and cannot get over that feeling of entitlement.

The Orchot Tzaddikim reminds us that we must remember that we deserve nothing. Everything we possess, is a gift from Hashem. We are owed nothing.

It is so important that we be able to appreciate and cherish what we have, rather than what we don’t have. This attitude allows us to be positive, upbeat people, rather than bitter, negative people. The bread was not miserable. It was miraculous and wonderful.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at