He goes on like this for the first 5 pages, then offers tips for how to bring the lessons of the ancient mann into our own lives.
40 years of mann—that's nearly 15,000 days where mann fell every single day.
He describes how today's Shabbat challot resemble the mann.
First of all, the mann fell between two white "tablecloths."
A layer of frozen linen-white dew underneath the mann & another layer of frozen linen-white dew to cover the mann.
Likewise, when your challot rest on your white Shabbat tablecloth and are covered with a white challah cover, this beautiful scene resembles the mann.
(Brief Digression: While I was familiar with the inyan of a white tablecloth for Shabbat, I did not know about the inyan of a white challah cover. Ours is dark blue velvet. Is this something I was supposed to have known all along? Anyway, there are many lovely and affordable white challah covers for sale within walking distance of my home, so now you know what I'll be trying to do this Thursday...)
And Rav Miller says we should talk about the mann with our friends and family.
We should talk about this wonderful and miraculous thing.
He also advises mentioning it to the children every Shabbat. Point out the symbolism of the covered challot and the mann. He reassures us that while the children may not look so interested or understanding of the concept, it gets into their little heads.
This is yet another aspect of Rav Miller I very much appreciate. He seems to know what real children are like. Several times, he brings up ideas for inculcating values into our children with the acknowledgement that they may not seem interested or able to grasp it at all.
Patience and gentle persistence reap fruits later on.
Fun Fact about the Mann
We should think of the process of growing wheat and producing bread—big miracle.
(Rav Miller describes it on page 8.)
Then he mentions a fun fact:
The children born during the journey in the Midbar thought that mann falling from the sky was normal.
It didn't seem miraculous to them; they were born into it.
If they walked into a Midyan or Moav camp, they thought it was weird that there was no mann around.
When these children entered Eretz Yisrael and saw food growing from the ground, THAT seemed miraculous to them.
A Guided Mann Visualization from Rav Miller
First you say to yourself:
“From now until the first telephone pole that's in the middle of the block, I'm going to think about the mann. I’m going to imagine myself in the midbar with the Am Yisroel and when I get up in the morning I see mann on the floor outside.”
Then for the rest of the block, I'll think about how it must have been to taste the mann.
Ooh wah! To eat lechem min hashamayim! What an experience it must have been – heavenly food!
And then you cross the street and you start a new block.
Is one block enough to think about the Mann?! You should walk at least two miles thinking about the Mann, but at least one block you should do.
And if you want to become even greater try it for a second block too.
Why is Snow the Poor Man's Fertilizer?
He also discusses the great importance of snow. I knew that Almanzo Wilder's father called snow "the poor man's fertilizer," but I didn't know why. On pages 12-13 (and in the Q&A on the last page), Rav Miller explains how snowfall prepares the ground for proper absorption of the spring rains later.
Pretty interesting stuff.
So when you look at snow or icy streets, you can also take that opportunity to muse over the mann.
Fun Fact from the Gemara
There is apparently no word for "nature" in the Gemara.
"Nature," he says, is a Greek word to cover up Hashem in the world.
Instead of saying "nature" or "natural," the Gemara says "biyadei Shamayim—by the hands of Heaven."
"Saris biyadei Shamayim" is what we would call "a natural saris." Something naturally occurring is referred to as biyadei Shamayim.
I see now that, in addition to acquired a white challah cover and contemplating mann between telephone poles, I should also start refining the way I speak and say "biyadei Shamayim instead of "natural" or "teva (nature)."
Like instead of asking, "Is that your natural hair color?", you can now ask, "Is that your biyadei Shamayim hair color?"
Or you could say, "Is that your God-given hair color?"
(And only to certain people of course, who don't mind being asked such questions.)
And there you go.
Lots of intriguing things to contemplate and enhance your life.