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The gemara (Yoma 75a) writes that the more righteous someone was, the closer to them the manna would fall.

Given that there were two million people encamped in close proximity, how did someone know which portion was supposed to be his?

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It could be that your question is actually the answer - If one is not Tzadik he needs to go and search, (there is no danger for the man to run out - everone got one omer, no matter how much they tried to pick) –  Alaychem Jan 24 at 7:08
    
whatever he finds is his. –  Alaychem Jan 27 at 18:23

1 Answer 1

The actual language there in Yoma 75 is, "The righteous, it fell by the door of their houses." That would be a good sign it was for them.

Either way, I don't know if there was a concept of "his" or "someone else's" until one picked it up. It was there for the taking; you'd walk until you found some to gather; you'd gather until your measure was filled. The wicked just didn't seem to find much until they had walked a greater distance.

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so why didn't it write "the early birds found it at the door of their houses"? why righteous/wicked? –  ray Feb 4 at 11:09
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@ray I don't understand your question. He's saying that the righteous got home delivery while everybody else had to go out and search. Are you thinking that the non-righteous might just go take it from a righteous neighbor's doorstep? –  Monica Cellio Feb 4 at 14:16
    
tent flap, not doors :) –  avi Feb 4 at 16:32
    
It may not have been early vs. late, it may have been a somewhat miraculous available vs. unavailable. Maybe the ancient equivalent of a cabbie finding a fare immediately vs. driving around for a while first. –  RavingRabbi Feb 4 at 17:01
    
@MonicaCellio here's the soncino translation: "Unto the righteous it fell in front of their homes; the average folk went out and gathered, whereas the wicked ones had to go about to gather it" seems like the proximity of the manna was according to level of righteousness not according to got first grabs. –  ray Feb 4 at 21:48

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