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Recipe for Manna – a poem for Parsha Behaalotecha

This is the recipe for manna. You won’t find it in "The Joy of Cooking" or in a Pinterest search for breakfast ideas.
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June 20, 2024
Tanja Ivanova / Getty Images

Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance was like the appearance of crystal. The people walked about and gathered it. Then they ground it in a mill or crushed it in a mortar, cooked it in a pot and made it into cakes. It had a taste like the taste of oil cake. ~ Numbers 11:7-8

This is the recipe for manna.
You won’t find it in “The Joy of Cooking”
or in a Pinterest search for breakfast ideas.

It is only in this one place
and this is the day and the week that
you have to read it.

You have to read it – even if you choose not to
and you never do. It is our tradition that
you have to read it.

You won’t find the ingredients at the market
not even at Whole Foods. It’s not something
you can have delivered

Grubhub has not heard of manna.
You must gather it, and it will be everywhere.
Look for the crystal-like substance

that shows up in the morning –
double on Friday so you don’t have to
worry about it on Saturday.

It is not a drug. It is the essence of
what you need and when you have it
you can do with it what you will.

Grind it so it is familiar.
Cook it as you know how.
Now you can have your cake.

It will be delicious, though the same cake
every day can lead to understandable complaints.
So meat will be provided.

It will come out your nose – more than you need.
You’ll still complain about the free cucumbers,
watermelon, leeks, and garlic

you used to get in communist Egypt.
This is the diet of the wanderers.
It is not a fad. It’s what you need

until your children cross the river.


Rick Lupert, a poet, songleader and graphic designer, is the author of 28 books including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion.” Find him online at www.JewishPoetry.net

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