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Shemot 16:22 -23 On the 6th day of the week, the people gather mann, and notice that there is a double portion. The elders ask Moshe what is happening. In verse 23, Moshe explains that this is what G-d commanded regarding the gathering of mann on the 6th day of the week (i.e. take a double portion, and reserve some of it for Shabbat, the next day.)

Rash"i on verse 22, explains that Moshe didn't initially tell B'nai Yisra'el the rules regarding the mahn collection for Shabbat, until the elders came and specifically asked him.

My question - why not? Was Moshe trying to hide something? Was he careless? Did he have an "elder moment"?

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The Rashbam on posuk 22-23 points this out and answers that he did this purposefully with the intent that the Bnei Yisroel should be surprised and shocked about this double portion, which when explained to them would then add to their understanding of the special day of Shabbos. It seems that Moshe felt that the surprise and not understanding of Klal Yisroel and the resulting explanation by Moshe would add to the excitement and appreciating of Shabbos. Kind of like a surprise birthday party instead of the regular party.

  • +1 for answering the question. If possible, can you find out if anyone comments why G-d was angry at Moshe for doing this, assuming this to be the reason? – DanF Jan 12 '17 at 18:57
  • I don't think that the Rashbam believes that Hashem was angry about Moshe's decision. – Mark A. Jan 12 '17 at 19:01

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