Why? What is so special about the chapter about the mahn?
1. In the Sefer Hayashar the “Book of the Straight” from Rabbenu Tam it is written that: “The main trait of all good traits is faith and trust, to believe with complete faith that the Creator blessed be He, is the leader and watches over everyone and provides each individual what he lacks. And that a person cannot even touch a hair breath of what is prepared for his friend. Through this he will come to trust as his heart will be sure and secure with G-d that all that is prepared for him from G-d will get to him without any extra effort and he won’t spend his days with worries and vanities trying to amass wealth for he believes and has faith that he has no ability of his own rather what is budgeted for him from the heavens that is what he will have – no more and no less.”
2. Rabbeinu Bachya explains why G-d made the mahn fall at night. “And they would awaken in the morning and find their food ready with no effort in order to teach them that one who goes in G-d’s path will find his sustenance without toil and effort.”
3. This is why it is brought down in the Shulchan Aruch (code of laws) 1,5, that it’s good to say the chapter of the akeda- Binding every morning and the chapter of the mahn. The Rabbeinu Bachya adds that whoever says the Chapter of the Mahn every day is guaranteed never to lack sustenance. The Tashbatz says in the name of the Jerusalem Talmud that whoever says the chapter of the mahn daily will never lack for sustenance and he adds “I guarantee this”. This is because a person will always know where to turn when lacking livelihood.
4.The Taz explains that “This is in order that a person believe all his sustenance comes providentially from on High.”
5.The Mishna Berurah adds: “This teaches us that more effort doesn’t help. Just as ‘the one who added mahn more than his portion didn’t have more’ and ‘the one who took less didn’t have less’ everyone had an omer per head as ordained from heaven. From this man should learn that more effort for livelihood add more income and food and the opposite, less effort won’t diminish his income and livelihood and G-d will fill in what he lacks according to what was decreed.”
6. The opposite is also true. Whoever lacks faith in G-d will diminish his blessing and livelihood. The Chiddushei HaRim explains that G-d commanded a jar of mahn be preserved for future generations for all to see that G-d provides endlessly for the ones who fear Him. Those who chase after their livelihood with worry and fear that they’ll lack bread and have no faith in G-d blessed be He who truly watches over all and provides for all of his creations without any stop at all, they cause harm to their blessing sent from above and, so to speak, weaken G-d’s ability to bestow good on them and bring about lack upon themselves.”
7. There is a custom to bring food to the birds before this Shabbat. Rabbi Elimelech Biderman explains that the source of this is that: “Birds approaching their food bend their heads down and take the food and immediately lift their heads upwards and the repeat this cycle as they eat; down and up. This teaches us that one should expend some effort for livelihood but remember to immediately lift up your head and hope to G-d for He is the one who will provide you with your livelihood.”
8. We said before in the Name of the Holy Rabbi Mendel of Riminov that it is a special segulah to say the chapter of the ‘mahn’ twice and translated once on the Tuesday of the week we read Beshalach that Shabbat.
9. Before saying the chapter of the mahn there is a prayer and another one afterwards. One can say the chapter on Shabbat but the prayers for livelihood before and after should not be said on Shabbat.
ומותר לומר פרשת המן אפילו בשבת, אלא שאת התפלות על הפרנסה לא יאמר בשבת.
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי שֶׁתָּכִין לִי וּלְאַנְשֵׁי בֵיתִי כָּל מַחֲסוֹרֵנוּ וְתַזְמִין לָנוּ כָּל צָרְכֵנוּ לְכָל יוֹם וָיּוֹם מֵחַיֵּינוּ דֵי מַחֲסוֹרֵנוּ וּלְכָל שָׁעָה וְשָׁעָה מִשָּׁעוֹתֵינוּ דֵי סִפּוּקֵנוּ וּלְכָל עֶצֶם מֵעֲצָמֵינוּ דֵי מִחְיָתֵנוּ מִיָּדְךָ הַטוֹבָה וְהָרְחָבָה וְלֹא כְּמִעוּט מִפְעָלֵינוּ וְקוֹצֶר חֲסָדֵינוּ וּמִזְעֵיר גְּמוּלוֹתֵינוּ וְיִהְיוּ מְזוֹנוֹתַי וּמְזוֹנוֹת אַנְשֵׁי בֵיתִי וְזַרְעִי וְזֶרַע זַרְעִי מְסוּרִים בְּיָדְךָ וְלֹא בְּיַד בָּשָׂר וָדָם: