Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. — Numbers 11: 31
The Torah portion for this week is Behaalotecha, which means “when you raise up,” from Numbers 8:1–12:16, and the Haftorah is from Zechariah 2:14–4:7.
We live in a society of wanting more. There is always something else to want, to have, to own, leaving us feeling that there is no such thing as enough, let alone the possibility of having too much. Whatever it is that we have, we believe that we need more.
But while having too much seems enticing, the truth is that it can lead us to consequences just as unpleasant– or worse than – the test of having too little.
Just as plants need the right amount of water – not less and also not more – in order to thrive and grow, so too, do humans need just the right amount of resources in order to grow. Less will make it more difficult to thrive, but so will having more. But how do we know how much we need?
We don’t. Only God knows exactly how much we need.
This point is driven home in the story we read about in this week’s Torah reading when the children of Israel complained that they did not have enough. God didn’t punish their complaining by taking away the blessings they already had; rather He gives them more than they need. He gives them too much! “Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubit deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction.” There was so much food to eat that the people became sick from it. The point was made – it is possible to have too much.
We all want to win the lottery, but do some research and you will find out that for many lottery winners, their dream turned into a nightmare. Having so much money caused the breakdown of marriages, fights between family members, even kidnapping and death. Yes, there most definitely is such a thing as too much.
Sometimes less is really more and what we lack, our greatest blessing. Trust in God — He will provide exactly what we need.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President