Klal Yisrael is assured that, in return for observing the Shemittah laws and allowing the land to rest during the seventh year, they would not be exiled. Furthermore, to those of little faith, who question how only one crop can sustain them for more than one year, Hashem promises that the prosperity will be to such an extent that their questions will be without basis. Yet, the Torah felt that the question of Mah nochal, “What will we eat?” was of such significance, that it was eternalized in the Torah. This question, however, should have been asked only once. After their very first Shemittah, they would have seen that there was nothing to worry about. Why, then, does the Torah include this question for posterity? Moreover, when is this question asked? Prior to the sixth year, it is too early to ask. After the sixth year, Hashem’s blessing of increased abundance has already been realized.
The Alter, z.l., m’Novardok, explains that this is human nature. Already during the first year, Klal Yisrael are asking, “What will we eat?” We worry about what will be tomorrow before we even know what is occurring today! Additionally, worrying during the first six years about the seventh year directly contradicts the concept of Shemittah, which is supposed to imbue us with bitachon, faith and trust, in only the Almighty.
This is underscored by the pasuk, “And you will eat your fill – and you will dwell securely upon it.” This is not a mere promise. This is a demand! We are to live securely, faithfully, trusting in Hashem’s “ability” to provide for us. If we worry and question, then we are defeating the very foundation of Shemittah. The question, “What will we eat?” is asked constantly by people. Shemittah negates this question by engendering a firm sense of trust in the Almighty, for he who has faith there is no cause for questioning.