Watch what you wish for …
In this weekʼs Parshat Behaʼalotcha the people took to complaining bitterly… Adonai heard and grew angry: a fire of Adonai broke out against them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. The people cried out to Moses. Moses prayed to Adonai and the fire died down. Then the Israelites wept and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish that we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the on- ions, and the garlic Now, there is nothing at all, nothing but this manna to look forward to!”
Here we go again – the Israelites complaining, driving Moses crazy. Now, the manna was no great culinary treat but there were hundreds of thousands of Israelites wonder- ing the desert and every morning they woke up to the manna. No hunting, no farming, no forging for something to eat.
Moses got so tired of hearing the whining and complaining that he asked, no beseeched Adonai to kill him and put to an end his endless torture.
Adonai tells Moses to gather seventy leaders of the tribes and they will share the re- sponsibility of taking care of the Israelites. Now, as for the people, Adonai tells Moses to tell them, “Adonai will give you meat and you shall eat. You shall eat not one day, nto two, not even five days or ten or twenty, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you.
Moses, then questions Adonai on how Adonai is going to accomplish this task. Adonai is furious that Moses would ask such a question. “Is there a limit to the Lordʼs power?”
Rashi considers Mosesʼ lack of faith here an error as grave as the one committed later at Meribah and that one keeps him from seeing the promised land. Rashi thinks that the only reason this one didnʼt is because Moses questioned Adonai in private instead of in public like Meribah.
So, Adonai makes it rain down quail. The people start to gather up all the meat but it comes down do hard and so much that they are literally submersed in meat. They cook some and prepare more and it keeps coming down on them. Finally, the people who spoke up and complained choke on their own greed.
Pretty dramatic lesson here. Maybe we should be happy with the life we have and not crave or lust after something else?
Sometimes we have to watch what we wish for …
Watch What You Wish For