A shocking survey just released from the Jew Research Center (JRC), finds that only one third of the children of Israel fully believe in the Manna given to them by God as they journey to the promised land. The idea of the Manna as the “Bread of Heaven” is central to the children of Israel’s faith and seems to foreshadow something greater to come.
The new JRC survey finds that most self-described Israelites don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten of (69%) say they personally believe that during the Exodus the Manna is symbolic or possible the secretions of a scale insect feeding on a species of flowering plants. Just one-third of the children of Israel (31%) say they believe that the Manna is miraculous and given to them directly by God.
We can trace much of the decline in belief in the Manna to poor catechesis and an infantilizing of the faith. Instead of saying “The Lord is my banner,” some would carry around felt banners with symbols of food they used to eat in Egypt.
Survey questions on the nature of Manna show the majority have not passed beyond the “What is it” aspect. Interviews conducted after the survey show other misunderstandings such as one responder saying, “If it is really miraculous, why does it have such a short shelf-life? One or two days at the maximum, depending on the day gathered.”
Some protesters of Moses were lamenting “Would that we had meat for food!” or “Hey hey, ho ho, this Manna has got to go.”
31% of the children of Israel who visit the dwelling-place of the Lord once a week or daily, accept Moses’ teaching on the Manna, and give thanksgiving to God for it.
Our exit interview with Moses after the survey found him despondent and of poor mental health. “I cannot carry all this people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face this distress.”
We asked him about a possible National Manna Revival and he replied: “I am considering appointing able men out of all Israel and make them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Still, I wonder if any revival ever came from a bureaucracy even composed of well-meaning men.”