Angels From Heaven (Randyjw; November 11, 2016)
Angels, those great, celestial beings tasked by G-d to assist Him in His management duties over all of creation, are conceptually a construct that is, at times, difficult to comprehend.
If G-d is omnipotent, having all power to do whatever He wishes, then why does G-d, Creator of Everything, need underlings to carry out assignments to which He, Himself, would be more than capable to complete without any assistance, whatsoever?
If G-d is omnipresent, and can be everywhere at the same time, then why is it that reports of human interaction with these beings appear in the stories of the Bible, upon occasion bearing good news, and occasionally portending a calamitous outcome?
It would seem to be part of the realm of the visible versus the obscured, a portal in which to view a portion of the workings of Heaven while falling under physical, tangible constructs which govern this worldly existence, here on earth. This physicality binds the laws of nature, as we would call them, over the land in which we, and the animal and plant kingdoms, dwell. We’ve been at pains over the course of human history to discern these laws for ourselves, and have done a great job uncovering the scientific theorems surrounding mass, velocity, volume, gravity, liquidity, and other ideas, which have made us become like creators, in our own rights, by dint of the nature of our discoveries.
This advancement of knowledge is our doing, and possible downfall, it’s realization the embodiment of having eaten from the tree of knowledge, and losing the blissful state of having no knowledge of the existence of sin and its corrosive effects on human society.
Perhaps the reason that G-d employs angels for his work is severalfold: for one, perhaps there must exist a separation between the Heavenly and Earthly bodies. From what we can imagine, each may work in different manners, and perhaps it is that earthly laws apply to the earthly universe, and the laws of Heaven might be entirely different. And since it would be that the two might be kept mostly separated, then there might exist little entryways between the two, at various times, places (or not), and methods.
In Jacob’s dream in Beit El, he lays his head upon a stone to sleep and dreams of beings ascending and descending a ladder to Heaven, in the skies above. We’ve theorized that these are the angels employed by G-d to assist Him in carrying out His plans and actions upon the earth. Several times, we read of encounters with otherworldly beings in stories of the Bible, such as when Jacob contended with G-d and with men, and became Israel. The meeting of the three beings who appear as men to Abraham in the desert implies their angelic status, when it is forewarned by them that their mission is to destroy the cities of the sinful people of S’dom and Gomorrah. But they also bring the good news of the impending advanced-age birth which will be blessed to Sarah and which will carry forth the birth of the nation-people, Israel.
When Jacob, Avraham and Sarah encounter these helpers of G-d, they each also receive a new enhancement to their names: Jacob to “Israel”; Avram to “Avraham”; and Sarai to “Sarah”. Each letter of the alef-bet, the Hebrew alphabet, is revered as a creation of G-d in his Holy works. The letter for the “h” is considered especially so, seeing how it was used in raising Avram and Sarai’s names, from which the words of G-d would be further known.
We already know that man cannot approach to “see” G-d, lest they die. So, this can be one of the reasons that G-d allows man an encounter with the angels, instead. We know that the L-rd spoke to Moses via the burning bush, and that Moses hid in the cleft between rocks as the L-rd passed on the mountain. The abode of G-d’s dwelling, within the concealed Holy of Holies, within the Jewish Temple, was only approached once per year by the Levite priests, descendants of Aharon, Moses’ brother. It’s interesting that they received no apportionment of land, when it was assigned to the twelve tribes of Jacob/Israel. Their portion was to be provided from that which was offered up by the people, mirroring the actions by which the people honored G-d with their sacrifices. These sacrifices show that we are thankful to the L-rd for his bounty and blessings and that it keeps us humble in letting go a portion of that which we have been given, in honor and respect.
In other ways, G-d shows us that no-one is an island unto himself. He shows us that even He, although likely not required, utilizes others to assist in the implementation of the G-dly kingdom. There can be no better validation of one’s self and subsequent well-being, than to feel needed and valued, helpful and productive, in our society. To whatever extent possible, each person has their own unique gifts and attributes which can contribute to the society at-large. To take away such, would devalue a person and contribute to feelings of worthlessness and depression. It would exacerbate a loss of dignity in the self.
For this reason, we are enjoined to be part of a larger community. To learn through others and to teach others, as well. To create a cohesive, thoughtful place, where each can feel a sense of worth, and where the ideals come to build a sum which is more than its parts. Without a system working as a unit, people decide what is right in their own eyes, and go off on divergent paths which can never be made whole. When this society broke down in the evil societies, G-d sent his angels to tear it down. G-d utilizes agents to do so. Perhaps it is better that we know that others can carry out the ramifications of such consequences in G-d’s stead. G-d only wants good, but in the end, he warns us that the bad will be punished.
The delegation of authority was provided by Yitro (Jethro) as the means to solve the conundrum of Moshe (Moses), his son-in-law, wearing himself out as the sole arbiter of problematic occurences between the tribe’s members. It was decided that Moses could instead appoint delegates to act in his stead to decide smaller matters between them, and for the larger difficulties, he would provide the solutions, himself. And so, we see the workings of the hierarchical breakdowns of a society into its working parts: whether a corporation, a municipality, a judicial system, the processes of government, or even an electoral voting process. G-d shows us, through angels, how to successfully manage a society.
I want to share the article which inspired my post, as well as the huge, beaming smile, which was the first, real, whole-being exaltation I’ve experienced in a long time. I think more of us can use such a lift, and it is for that reason I provide you this special, accompanying source and link.
Fox, Tsviya. “The Truth About Angels”. Breaking Israel News.com; November 3, 2016: