He made you hungry, He made you starve, He fed you manna… (Deut. 8:3)

Torah could only be given to people who had consumed manna. (Midrash Tanchuma 20:2)

It wasn’t that manna didn’t satisfy hunger. Manna was food, nourishing food. But it was food that caused you to feel dissatisfied. That was its nourishment.

Your manna might have tasted to you like a succulent grilled steak. But it was a spiritual, not a tangible experience—and that left you yearning for something beyond that experience, something a physical body could never really have.

This was crucial to the plan. As the rabbis taught, “The secrets of Torah can be transmitted only to one whose heart troubles him incessantly from inside.”

That is, after all, the experience of studying the hidden wisdom of Torah—the experience of always feeling “this is not yet it.” The perpetual sense that the truth lies just beyond.

Yearn, always yearn to know. Never be satisfied. Then you have true life.

Maamar Vayancha Vayarivecha 5723