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    The upcoming holiday
    of Shavuot, the
    celebration of our
    receiving the Torah,
    along with the name of
    the book we are now
    beginning – “Bamidar” (“in the desert”)
    – gives us an opportunity to reflect on the
    fact that G-d chose to give us the Torah,
    and to begin our nation’s history, in a
    Why the desert? Why didn’t G-d wait
    until we came into the land, built homes
    and communities, and got ourselves
    One Rabbi answered that the Torah was
    given in the desert precisely because it is
    in “desert” conditions when we show that
    we’re up to the task, that we are truly
    Imagine going to sleep at night without a
    morsel of food in the house. Nothing. The
    cupboards, the fridge and the freezer are
    EMPTY. And, there is no plumbing, so

    you have not a drop of water.
    One other thing – your bank account is
    down to zero. There’s not even a
    penny. You have no job and no source of
    Sounds pretty scary.
    Somebody then tells you not to worry,
    because when you wake up in the
    morning, all the food your family needs
    is going to fall down from the sky. And
    you’re going to have plenty of water –
    it’s going to come out of a rock.
    This is how Beneh Yisrael lived in the
    desert, for forty years. They went to sleep
    each night with absolutely nothing, with
    not even a crumb of food. All they had
    was the promise that manna will fall the
    next morning and water will flow from a
    True commitment to Hashem is shown in
    the “desert,” in times of instability. This
    is when we show that we trust in Hashem,
    that we believe that He is the source of

    our sustenance and our wellbeing.
    We crave stability. It’s one of our most
    important needs. But we look for it in the
    wrong places. We look for it in our jobs,
    our businesses, our source of income, our
    house, our car, our wealthy relative or
    friend. The Torah was given in the most
    unstable condition possible – in the
    desert, where the people had no
    possibility of sustaining themselves, to
    teach them, and to teach us, that OUR
    FROM HASHEM, and from nothing
    In the times of the Bet Ha’mikdash, the
    nation would come to the Bet
    Ha’mikdash every Pesach, Shavuot and
    Sukkot. The Gemara says that on these
    holidays, the kohanim would display to
    the people the shulhan – the special table
    in the Bet Ha’mikdash, which had on it
    thelechem hapanim, special bread. The
    bread remained on the table for a full
    week until it was removed and eaten by

    the kohanim, but it miraculously
    remained fresh all week.
    The kohanim displayed this miracle to
    the people to show them that THE
    bread on our tables, even now, is as
    miraculous as the manna in the
    desert. Hashem is sustaining us just as
    He sustained our ancestors in the most
    unstable place imaginable.
    Hashem gave us the Torah in a desert – to
    teach us that it is here where we show our
    faith, where we make it clear that we
    place our trust in Him, and not in anything