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Bishalach: Manna at the Ready ~ Yehoshua Steinberg

Founding Director, Editor-In-Chief at Veromemanu
Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg is the Founding Director and Editor-in-chief of Veromemanu and it' website BiblicalHebrewEtymology.com.

Yehoshua is a retired U.S. Army Chaplain and currently lives in Israel with his wife and children.

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Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg

Article abstract: Parashat Beshalach is the portion of the Exodus and the Splitting of the Red Sea; it is also the portion of the Manna affair, the heaven-sent bread. What does the word "Manna" mean? On the face of it, the answer is straightforward, since the Torah says, "And each one said to his brother 'man hu'? – because they did not know what it was," meaning מן means "What". Many commentators indeed explain so, such as Rashbam who explained that מן is "what" in the Egyptian language. However, there are at least four other disparate opinions amongst the early commentators. Per our practice, we examine in this article the gamut of other words in the Holy Tongue containing the string מן, in an attempt to find a common core meaning, thus hoping to find a clue to the underlying import of the word, and ultimately the relevance of the miraculous Manna to our lives even today.

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