Thursday, August 24, 2023

Angels - Rav Tzadok

Rav Tzadok (Sichos Malachei HaShareish 3) the issue of the existence of the spiritual angels is explicitly and clearly stated in the Bible in many places. Even though there are those who are contrary and insist on explaining that many of these statements are referring to prophets or human messengers from G-d- contrary to the words of our Sages – nevertheless there are still many places where it is impossible to give those explanations and they are in describing spiritual angels I don’t want to belabor the point and explain what these sources actually mean contrary to those who belittle the words of our Sages and don’t believe in the wisdom of our chachomim in both talmuds and in medrashim which have been accepted as authoritative by all Jews. That is because my purpose is not to criticize and explain their errors since it is prohibited to answer a Jewish heretic because it could lead to his taking a more extreme position as our Sages have said. Because we are believers in their words and observers of their warnings (Sanhedrin 38b according to Rashi). And anyway our answers will not be accepted by them. It is quite obvious that there is no limit to their nonsensical words and they are capable of twisting and distorting  something that is completely straight and obvious. Our sole concern is to explain the words of our Sages and thus the Truth to those who believe in them. We are not responsible for the fools who distort and deny the Oral Torah, It already happened during the days of the second Temple with the Tzadokim and they are still functioning  amongst us – G-d should send His holy help  and destroy these weeds from our vineyard And  the words of our Sages have already sufficiently and clearly explained the existence of Angels, It is on their words that this pamphlet is based. They have told us that wherever an angel is mentioned in the Bible  it is a spiritual angel and not a physical  prophet or other being.

The main point is that I am going to explain what is necessary to know from the point of the Jewish faith and in particular what is lost by believing that G-d Himself does everything i,e. why was it necessary to create the spiritual angels?

Obviously this is a nonsense question for believing Jews who know the truth since the Torah testifies to its truth as do the true scholars so how could there be a question? If you say it concerns the belief in Angels, But a person who does not believe in them is like one who doesn’t believe that Jerusalem exists in the land of Israel since he never saw it himself. Such a person’s views are rejected and refuted and he is considered crazy and a fool

If, the question is why was it necessary for G-d to create them?

The same question occurs as to why it was necessary to create snakes and insects some of them causing harm and are damgerous and some are so small and can not be seen with the unaided eye but are only seen with a microscope.

Similarly there are many types of plants which seem worthless which our Sages have talked about (Bereishis Rabbah 10, Vayikra Rabbah and Kohles Rabbah) and explained that all are needed (this is also discussed in Shabbos(77b) and Berachos (31b)

 We in fact do not know why the world could not be created without them and yet we think with our puny minds that the world could properly function without them.  In addition our senses tell us that these exist and of their obvious creation without a doubt and they can not be denied so surely concerning creatures  such as Angels which are large sized and extremely beneficial – even though they are also hidden from our physical eyes.  Thus we (the descendants' of Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov) are forced to rely on testimony of the Torah and the true scholars to know why they are necessary.It is also possible  to find various benefits from them and furthermore this is combined with the words of the philosophers and non Jewish scholars. The philosophers have conducted investigations regarding their characteristics as is noted by the sefer Ikkarim (2:12) However we will not follow that approach of bringing arguments and proof and evidence because that is prohibited as I have written. We are also not utilizing philosophic reasons which are inherently frivolous nonsense to those who adhere to the Torah. Furthermore Torah awareness is not like Non Torah reasoning as is noted in Sefer Ikkarim, My sole concern is to clarify to those who already believe the truth as we have been taught according to the words of our Sages who are the true scholars. I will answer this question from the Torah perspective since this question came about because of the nonsense of non Torah understanding regarding Creation and only believing what they can see.

[to be continued]

This is puzzling since the view Rav Tzadok attacks is stated in Medrash Rabba!

Bereishis Rabbah (75:04) 4. MALAKIM-E.V. MESSENGERS (XXXVII, 4). These were none but human messengers. The Rabbis said: It means literally angels. If an angel escorted Eliezer, who was but a servant of the house,1 how much the more this one [Jacob], who was the beloved of the house! R. Hama b. Hanina observed: Hagar was but Sarah's handmaid, yet five angels appeared to her; how much the more then to this man [Jacob], who was the beloved of the house! R. Jannai said: Joseph was the youngest of the tribal ancestors,2 yet three angels met him, as it is written, And a certain man found him... and the man asked him... and the man said: (Gen. XXXVII, 15 ff.).3 Then how much the more this one Jacob], who was the father of them all!

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