#BlogELUL – DO

angel_082I have become increasingly interested in Angels.  The subject is all around us in the secular and Christian world.  Tons of angel jewellery and tons of facebook postings talking about various and sundry angels guiding us, protecting us and being among us.

The angels are always the same.  Long. flowing white robes.  Flowing hair and beautiful, glowing skin.  Looks of tranquility and serenity.  They are G-d’s messenger’s right?  But what does this all mean on a Jewish level?  Do we believe in angels in the same way that Christians do?  That the secular world does?

This was an intriguing question and so I went to my rabbi with it but he didn’t have much experience with it and pretty much just referred me to Amazon.  I looked and looked for something to explain how Jews view angels and finally found a great resource – “A Gathering Of Angels – Angels in Jewish Life and Literature” by Morris R. Margolis.

There’s a great rundown of all of the famous and not so famous angels throughout Jewish tradition – Michael, Rafael, Gabriel, Uriel, Metatron, even Satan who started life out as an angel and who, debatably, may still BE an angel.

The topic of this #BlogELUL is “DO” and this brings me to my point.

Margolies carefully explains that the concept of angels may really be that the “angel” may be a component of our neshama or soul.  Each of us have the aspect of the angel within us.  For example, Gabriel represents courage.  We summon Gabriel when we need courage in one way or another but the truth is that is the Gabriel within us.  Jacob wrestled Gabriel in a situation when he needed courage…was he wrestling the angel or was he really wrestling with himself?

Of course the book goes into much more detail about angels and explores different aspects of them and not just this one.  I recommend it if you have an interest in exploring a Jewish outlook on angels and not just accepting the popular culture viewpoint.  Sometimes it corresponds and sometimes it doesn’t – as we find with a lot of our deep and wonderful tradition.

It’s interesting to think about this since we, as Jews, are constantly surrounded with the charming, beautiful, angelic creatures so expounded in popular culture called “angels.”  The truth, however, isn’t as pretty.

Angels aren’t necessarily a beautiful, willowy, creature that comes and does things FOR us.  They are parts of us that contain the good that we can possess and do and they are parts of us that can contain the evil that we can possess and do.  It just depends on how we call them forward.

In the end, it’s all about what we DO and HOW we do it.  We can be angels of good and bring peace, harmony and abundance to the world or we can be angels of destruction and destroy the gardens that G-d has given to us to enjoy and walk through.  It is our choice and our destiny to make these choices every single day.

Advertisements

BlogElul

In my continuing effort to ramp up my Judaism this year and return to that which holds my heart and binds me to it in a way nothing else ever has – my Jewishness – I am participating with ImaBima and her #BlogElul project.

Her list of topics for everyday is:

blogelul2014

 

I have already published my first post (see below) – and so we begin…

Elul – Time for Introspection

I decided that it’s time for some introspection in my life.  Time to step back, time to evaluate where I am going and how I am getting there.  Time to look at where I have been and really, this year, enjoy the peak at which I find myself and savor the view a little.

Sometimes I think the month of Elul can be used as a time to be a little negative with oneself.  To fine ones faults and to find ways to start anew.  To see where we have wronged others and to right those wrongs and change our paths.

Last year I didn’t even find celebrating the High Holy Days within myself.  I acknowledged them and yes, I remember I was at the beach at Rosh Hashanah and I remember going on a walk at dawn to watch the sunrise and vaguely I felt the face of Gd smile upon me but not like I had in years past.  It was a weak trickle of sunlight, like the cold winter sunlight across a frozen tundra.

I have always loved the coming of the Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah.  I take the visualisation of the Master in the fields quite literally and conceptualise it as fields bathed in golden sunshine as the Master smiles upon all he surveys and the workers smile in pleasure that he is there.

Last year had none of that.

This year I feel a small anticipation.  I am thinking of a menu for Rosh Hashanah.  And for Elul I am thinking of building up to that joyous day.  I am thinking of preparing myself by filling my basket with joy.

I have spent the last year rebuilding myself from the inside out.  There is much work yet to be done.  Baskets to be filled with fruit and grain.  Wine bottles to be filled.  And it will not be competed by the time the Master enters the field of my life but it will be more complete than it was last year and I know he will be pleased.

Every day is another step on the ladder.  Sometimes it is an excruciating climb.  Sometimes I slip and fall all the way to the ground and am crushed under the weight of my burden almost to the point where I absolutely know I cannot climb the ladder again.

And that is when the Master sees me and picks me up and helps me put my foot on that first rung again and he watches me lift myself onto it.  Then he walks away knowing I have my start.

It is time to show him what I have achieved.  And I am so very very proud of myself this year.

I hope The Master will be too.