When the Jewish people left the land of Egypt, they showed absolute faith and trust in G‑d. As the prophet relates: “Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem: ‘I remember for you the grace of your youth, the love of your bridal days as you followed after Me in the desert, in an uncultivated land.’” The Jews journeyed out to the desert with little more than the packages of dough they could carry on their backs. A people numbering several million went into the desert with no provisions!

How did they survive? As our Torah reading relates, G‑d granted them a well of water which accompanied them through their journeys and every day, manna descended from heaven.

Every person received precisely the amount of manna appropriate for him. The Torah tells us: “Some gathered more and some less, but when they measured it, the one who had taken more did not have any extra, and the one who had taken less did not have too little.” Each person received precisely the amount befitting for himself and his family.

Our Rabbis teach that this motif was not confined to the time the Jews journeyed through the desert, but reflects an ongoing spiritual pattern. Acquiring our sustenance is like receiving manna from heaven. It is granted to us by G‑d, as the Torah states: “G‑d will bless you in all that you do.” Implied is that we must “do”; we have to work and do what we can to earn our livelihood. But what we are doing is merely making a vessel, whether - and to what extent - that vessel will be filled depends on G‑d.

As anyone in the business world will attest, there is no “guaranteed and sure way” to earn money. Even after a person has done everything necessary to insure himself prosperity and success, his fortune is dependent on G‑d’s blessings.

It is not luck or chance that makes a person wealthy; it’s G‑d’s hand. When the Jews wandered through the desert, this was obvious. They saw how everything they had was granted to them by G‑d. Today, by contrast, we must think and contemplate before we come to this realization. The need for effort on our part, however, does not change the reality. Although we may not understand how and why His scales of judgment tip, any prosperity that we have been granted comes because He has willed it.

There are two derivatives of the above concept: First of all, a reorganization of our priorities. Living, not earning a living, should be on the top of the list. Each person should seek to find his personal mission; that should be his primary focus. With “the love of your bridal days,” he should follow the path G‑d leads him, confident that - provided he makes an appropriate vessel - he will be granted everything that he needs.

Secondly, if we are granted beneficence from G‑d, we must realize that it is trust, given to us to use for a purpose. If we receive, we should also give, sharing the blessings G‑d has granted us with others. Since He is the source of our prosperity, He should be given His share by using the resources we have been granted for charity and kindness.