When1 the Children of Israel were in the wilderness, the gift of manna — “bread from the heavens”2 — prepared them for their entry into the Land of Israel, where the norm is “bread from the earth.”3 The gift of manna clearly demonstrated to them that G‑d alone provided them with their livelihood and satisfied all their needs. This awareness prepared them and enabled them, even when they arrived in “a settled land”4 where the norm was “bread from the earth,” not to forget that “it is He Who gives you the power to prosper.”5

Moreover, the supernatural gift of “bread from the heavens” not only serves to prepare and empower; it is also drawn into the mundane reality that is called “a settled land,” and it may be experienced there. The Jewish people essentially transcend the world and nature. Hence, even when they (so to speak) descend into the mode of Divine service demanded by “a settled land,” the bestowal of their livelihood is — at its truest and innermost level — unconnected with the workings of nature that are known as “bread from the earth.”