So quickly forgetting the date palms and the water at Elim, B'nei Yisrael believes they are going to perish for lack of food. Moshe again implores Hashem on their behalf and the manna, HaMan, falls from the Heavens. This food, spiritually necessary and easily assimilated, would be the key to purifying their souls and honing their ways. They would gather was a day’s worth of manna and enough on the sixth day to carry them through Shabbat. How then could any doubt remain in their hearts if they were sustained daily with heavenly food in the harshest of conditions? The answer lies in that when they gathered and ate HaMan, they did so with reservation. This is proven when they do not heed the decree not to gather manna on Shabbat.
From here on, we see again the reservations of B’nei Yisrael as they continue on and camp at Rephidim. Their internal doubt creates the absence of water, as well as an adversary known as Amalek and his army. This attack comes not because Hashem wanted to test them, but because B’nei Yisrael lacked the ability to trust in Hashem. Their refusal to heed and obey the commandment of HaMan showed that they lacked “spiritual water”, or Torah precepts, and this doubt created not only their physical lack but brought about their ultimate enemy.
Hashem maintains a war against Amalek from generation to generation. --Exodus 17:16
While Hashem could have certainly defeated Amalek for us, it is evident that it is not the job of our Creator. As our rejection of HaMan continues on today through our flippant adherence to the Torah, Hashem will continue to allow our struggle with Amalek. Is it a coincidence that the word for manna – HaMan – is spelled the same way as Haman, a descendent of Amalek? It seems through our rejection of the decree of the manna that we seeded something else quite disastrous. As we received Haman during the time of Esther, so too have we had to contend with other figures in history which have come against B’nei Yisrael with the same spirit. Amalek is the representation of doubt and unbelief in G-d’s existence; the numerical value of his name is equal to 240 and is synonymous with the word doubt - safek – which also equals 240. Amalek, and all who operate in his spirit, are the absence of faith in the miracles of G-d and also the denial of His authority in men’s affairs.
We all battle our own private Amalek within us. It causes us to question ourselves, doubt and inhibits any deliberate steps forward. If we cleave to Hashem, ask for guidance and walk in His ways, we can become agents of choice with less agony. It is only through decisiveness, informed by faith, that we will be able to make a stand in our lives for righteousness and make choices. If we surround ourselves with good counsel and community, we gain wisdom in our planning and doing and our efforts bear fruit. When we waver and doubt in the depths of our minds and souls, we set ourselves up for failure.
How long will we continue to allow precious time to slip away due to lingering indecisiveness? Consider your every moment so precious each day that you walk forward in harizut, decisiveness, with strength. Decide...then do.