This week’s Torah portion covers Exodus 13:17 to 17:16. In a nutshell, this reading presents a series of rapid fire miracles. The Israelites finally leave Egypt. The waters part and they march through on dry land with walls of water on their right and left. Pharaoh’s army drowns in their pursuit of the runaway slaves.
However, after three days of being in the desert, the Israelites complain of a lack of food and drink. Hunger and thirst have a way of clouding anyone’s vision. The former slaves begin to regret their change of circumstances. What seems obvious to them is that there is no way the desert will provide enough food and drink for a roaming crowd of refugees. And they were right. Their provisions would take another series of miracles. God commands Moses to sweeten the bitter waters of Marah by throwing a piece of wood in the water. God rains manna from heaven every morning. Quail meat is provided in abundance every evening. This culinary arrangement lasts for forty years.