Please Learn in the Merit of:

Please learn for the merit of a complete recovery for the following individuals:

Ya'akov Don ben Esther Ahuvah Sharona
Avraham Yishayahu ben Aviva
Perel Leah bas Sima

Please learn in the merit/memory of Eyal ben Uriel, Gil-Ad Michael ben Ophir, Ya'akov Naftali ben Avraham, and Alter Aryeh Leib Reuven ben Sima

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Shmiras HaLashon כ"בּ טבת - Teves 22 - One-Hundred-and-Twelfth Day

© 2007 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

[The previously related parable about the bird and the king], is precisely the case, [though] many thousands of times more-so, in our matter [concerning placing our trust in HaShem though there are people who maintain beliefs which are contrary to the truth of HaShem and His Torah]. When one will contemplate [the following] well, [that being that] The Holy One, Blessed is He, Created this world, that being the physical world, as well as the upper world, [he will then realize that the only rational conclusion is that he should place his trust in HaShem]. It is known that many worlds, almost without number, are incorporated within the upper world. However, [through a] general [way of understanding, all of the worlds] are considered [as] three worlds, [the first of these three worlds] being the realm of the angels, upon it is the realm of creation – “עולם הבריאה”, and above these [worlds] is the realm of Atzilus[1], [the realm of Atzilus being above the first two worlds], for in [that third realm resides] the nobility of the holiness of [HaShem] Yisbarach. [The aforementioned follows] that which our Sages of Blessed Memory have said (in maseches Atzilus, as follows (also see in Midrash Shmuel on [Pirkei] Avos, end of the sixth chapter): [Regarding these three different realms, the pasuk from sefer Yishayahu states], “All that which is called in My Name…” (that being the realm of Atzilus), “…and for My Honor have I Created it…” (that being the realm of B'riyah – Creation, for over there, [in the realm of Creation] is The Throne of The Glory of The Holy One, Blessed is He), “…I have Formed it…” (that being the realm of Y'tzirah – Forming, for over there reside the holy Chayos [Angels] that Yichezkhel The Prophet saw [in his prophetic vision, this world] also [comprising] the realm of the angels), “…I have even made it” (that being this world and all of the celestial spheres). (Yishayahu: 43; 7) It is known that the universe and all of its celestial spheres are like void and nothingness relative to the realm of Y'tzirah, for many countless groups of angels [reside] within [the realm of Y'tzirah, and] within each [of these] groups [of angels], exists a myriad of angels, as is written [in seferDaniel”], “A thousand thousands serve Him and a myriad[2] of myriads stand up before Him…”[3] (Daniel: 7; 10) Our Sages of Blessed Memory have said in [maseches] Chagigah (13b), that this [number of angels which is mentioned in seferDaniel”] is [found] within one group [of angels] and the [number of] groups [of angels] are without number, as the pasuk states [in sefer Iyov], “Is there a [finite] number of [HaShem’s] regiments?…”[4] [5] (Iyov: 25; 3) (See over there in the gemara for further answers [to this discussion of the number of angels]). In Tanna D’Vei Eliyahu[6], [we learn] that four-billion-nine-hundred-and-sixty-million Ministering Angels constantly sanctify The Name of The Holy One, Blessed is He, by saying “Kadosh, kadosh…” – “Holy, holy…”, from sunrise until sunset and from sunset until sunrise, they say “Baruch K’vod…”[7] – “Blessed is The Glory…” It is known that all of the created beings, even the tallest of the tall, are all in need of sustenance [from] The Holy One, Blessed is He, as is written [in sefer Nichemiah], “You have made… and You sustain everything…”[8] (Nichemiah: 9; 6) However, the sustenance [provided for] their food does not resemble our [food], for [the food of the angels] is a spiritual food and [is] thin, as is written [in Tehillim], “A man ate [the] bread of the angels…”[9] (Tehillim: 78; 25) [On this pasuk], our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [in maseches Yoma (75b)], that this [refers to] the bread that the Ministering Angels ate.[10]

[1] “Atzilus” is the highest level of these four levels of the aforementioned four worlds. “B’riyah” is the world of “creation”, and “Y'tzirah” is the world of “forming”.

[2] This mention of “myriad” refers to “10,000”, while the previous mention of “myriad” is equivalent of “almost innumerable” number of angels.

[3] The entire pasuk states, “A river of fire was flowing, and a thousand [of] thousands of those who serve Him went out before Him, and a myriad [of] myriads were standing before Him, the judgment was given and the books were opened.” (Daniel: 7; 10)

RaSh”I comments that these verses which describe the judgment rendered by HaShem over the world, the flowing river of fire, and the myriad of angels (Daniel: 7; 9 – 12), is referring to the Great Day of Judgment when HaShem will judge those peoples who brought The B’nei Yisrael distress, including Edom and those who preceded them.

The MaLBI”M explains that the “thousand [of] thousands [of angels]” that were serving HaShem are the Chayos and the Sarfei Kodesh (holy Sarfei angels) who are prepared to bring the sustenance from The Throne of HaShem to the world of the galgalim (lit. “wheels”). Those who “stand before [HaShem] are the Sirafim Angels who stand before The Throne, they being the Upper Ministering Angels in the world of the Throne, they being higher than the first group of angels. As mentioned above, this passage is dealing with The Day of Judgment, this verse describing the virtually innumerable number of angels that serve before HaShem.

[4] The pasuk states, “Is there a [finite] number of [HaShem’s] regiments, and upon whom will His light not [shine].” (Iyov: 25; 3)

[5] The gemara in maseches Chagigah (13b) quotes from seferDaniel”, where it states the many thousands of angels who serve HaShem. The gemara also quotes from seferIyov” where the pasuk states that HaShem’s regiments are without number. The gemara reconciles these two pesukim by stating that the finite number described in seferDaniel” exists when the Beis HaMikdash (Temple) does not exist, while the infinite number described in seferIyov” applies to the time when the Beis HaMikdash is in existence.

The gemara subsequently quotes Rabbi [Yehuda HaNasi] in the name of Abba Yosi ben Dosai in a Baraisa, that when the pasuk in seferDaniel” says that “a thousand thousands will serve Him”, that is a description of the number of angels within one regiment. However, the number of regiments are innumerable, as it says in seferIyov”.

[6] This teaching is found in Parsha 29 of the “Ish ShalomEliyahu Rabbah, the Kol HaLashon translation of seferShmiras HaLashon” notes that this teaching is found in Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 31.

[7] The entire pasuk of “Kadosh, kadosh…” reads, “Holy, holy, holy [is] HaShem, Master of Legions, He fills the entire land with His glory.” (Yeshayahu: 6; 3) The pasuk of “…Baruch K’vod…” reads, “And a wind raised me up and I heard a voice of great loudness behind me [proclaiming], ‘The Glory of HaShem is Blessed (the Source of Blessing) from His Place.” (Yechezkhel: 3; 12)

[8] The pasuk from seferNichemiah” states, “You, alone, are HaShem, You have made the Heaven and the Heaven of the Heavens and all of their legions (i.e. stars and constellations), the land and all that is upon it, the seas and all that which is within them, and You sustain everything, and the Legions of the Heaven bow to You.” (Nichemiah: 9; 6)

The MaLBI”M explains “and You sustain everything” as an attribute that is unique to HaShem. When someone creates something, the thing which has been created, once completed, is self-sustaining. However, everything that exists is constantly dependent upon HaShem for its sustenance and continued existence. Even though it may appear that everything runs based upon the “Heavenly Legions” and the order of the constellations, that is not the case, as they themselves attest to by bowing to HaShem to show that HaShem rules over them, gives them the strength they need for continued existence, as well as rules over everything else.

[9] The entire pasuk states as follows: “A man ate the bread of angels (lit. “strong ones”), He sent them food for sustenance.” (Tehillim: 78; 25)

Metzudas David explains that this pasuk discusses the period of time when The B’nei Yisrael were in the Sinai Desert (Wilderness), they ate the manna, which is referred to as “bread of the strong ones”, as it comes from Heaven (Heavenly bread). RaSh”I explains that this bread is the bread of the angels. This clearly is a different type of bread than that which grows in the ground. RaSh”I points out that the manna was completely absorbed by the limbs, not leaving any need to be flushed out by the body.

[10] This teaching is quoted in the name of Rabbi Akiva. In the gemara, Rabbi Elazar ben Parta further notes that after the Israelites sinned by complaining about the manna, HaShem said that He would have made them like the Ministering Angels, had they not committed that sin.

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