On Passover, the Bible commands us to bring a sacrifice of barley which is the staple food of animals. On the next Holiday Shavuot, we are commanded to bring two loaves of bread made from wheat, the food of humans.
Between Passover, when we were just liberated from a condition of slavery in a despicable land, and the next holiday when we commemorate the giving of the Torah-Bible at Mt Sinai, there are seven weeks. The number seven corresponds to the seven dimensions of our emotions and character. It is during these seven weeks when we make a blessing over every day, through the Mitzvah-practice of counting the Omer, we receive strength to improve ourselves and progressively advance from the traits of an animal closer to the positive qualities and traits of a human.
According to the instructions in the Bible, the wheat for this offering must grow in the Land of Israel. The Talmud asks, what would happen if there was a miracle and wheat fell from heaven! Can we use this wheat? It did after all come from Israel, or perhaps since it’s not from the land it is excluded from being used. The conclusion is that it’s recommended not to use this wheat, however if he did use it, it’s acceptable.
When G-d does a miracle it is to serve a purpose. What lesson is there from this discussion for each one of us?
We are all born naturally, “a wild donkey, man is born.” If one isn’t trained and does not work on himself, he will grow, to think and act like an animal. Becoming an upright, moral, ethical, spiritual human being takes much effort and personal determination. Ultimately, the goal is to realize the limitations of our own intellect, so we can set it aside for something even greater that’s called faith; trust in G-d.
Without faith, a man can do nothing; with it, all things are possible. Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.
The other day I was reading a comic strip which went in the following way. “The longer I live, the less I know.” “Is there a name for that?” “Wiser.”
Generally this improvement and growth of the self needs to be accomplished necessarily, through our own efforts. In the same way a farmer sweats to toil the ground, plant the seeds, harvest the stalks, grind the kernels, make and bake the bread, a person must sweat and toil in a positive atmosphere so he will end with his own results, the two loaves that he will sacrifice to G-d.
There is an age old prayer that asks G-d, not that we shouldn’t have any struggles in life, but that we should have the strength to overcome any and all challenges in life, so that we become the greater and stronger person these hardships are meant to make of us.
Although hard work is the preferred path for deeper and greater enrichment, sometimes from heaven, out of the blue, G-d will “help” a person in his journey and struggles, to improve and reach the purpose of life, by miraculously without any effort on the persons part, casually while driving home from work, with inspiration. A “coincidence”, or in some other unexpected way,” wheat from heaven”, instilling a feeling of spiritual inadequacy or a desire to be and do more with one’s life.
This may throw a person off, wondering what’s this all about? I haven’t worked on anything to deserve this spark from heaven. What am I to do with this unearned feeling?
Therefore the Talmud says, although you weren’t looking out for this, G-d in His kindness granted you this thought or inspiration for a reason, be careful not to ignore this gift because it has special powers. It comes from heaven!