• Shterna Ginsberg


Updated: Aug 31, 2021

We are living in unprecedented times: the days of Moshiach’s imminent arrival. This is the time which our prophets spoke about; this is the fulfillment of all time.

הנה ימים באים נאם ה’ אלקים

“Behold, days are coming,” says Hashem.

והשבתי רעב בארץ

“And I will cast a hunger upon the land.

לא רעב ללחם ולא צמא למים

Not a hunger for bread and not a thirst for water,

כי אם לשמע את דברי ה’

but to hear the words of Hashem.” (Amos, 8:11)

Why are we told that our hunger will not be for bread and our thirst will not be for water? We could have simply been told about our desire to hear the word of Hashem.

Perhaps it can be said that bread represents our basic needs and water, which causes all pleasurable things to grow, represents desirable pleasures.

In the Western world, it’s never been easier to access bread and water. We are surrounded by an abundance of everything we may need and desire.

And yet most of us struggle with a feeling of not being good enough in one way or another. When we feel that emptiness; when we sense that lack or that void, we instinctively turn to things that provide us with “bread and water,” comfort and pleasure. We tend to think that our desire for change is all about our external circumstances and situations.

And so we are reminded: “Your hunger and thirst is not about having more stuff! You’re feeling this deep neediness and desire because Hashem has cast a hunger upon the land. What you’re experiencing is your soul’s profound need to connect with Hashem.”

Today’s easy access of comforts and pleasures is unprecedented. Our intense emotional hunger and thirst is also unprecedented. Because as much as we keep stuffing ourselves with stuff, we aren’t satisfied. Bread and water isn’t doing it for us.

It’s time to recognize that just as much as we need food and water to physically survive, we need prayer and Torah study to emotionally thrive.

“Not a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water, but to hear the word of Hashem.”

In what ways do you feed your spiritual hunger and thirst?

In what ways do you connect with Hashem?

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