Volume 20 Number 58
                       Produced: Thu Jul 20 23:01:12 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Angels and Neshamas
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Following Orders (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Carl Sherer]
IDF, etc.
         [Zvi Weiss]
Judaism and belief in angels
         [David Charlap]
Neshama's and Angels
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Zohar (3)
         [Eliyahu Teitz, Jonathan Katz, Yaakov Shemaria]


From: <rachelr@...> (Rachel Rosencrantz)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 09:08:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Angels and Neshamas

Date: Mon, 17 Jul 95 16:35 EST
> >From: Laurie Solomon <0002557272@...>
> I was having a discussion with some friends in my office and wasn't sure
> how to respond.  Does Judaism have the belief that as people die, they
> become angels (with or without wings)?

Although Judaism does believe in Angels when you die you do not become
an Angel.  

> My understanding is that there are intermediary angels that have
> specific functions, between Hashem and man or Hashem and nature.  Other
> references to angels that I am aware of is when Yaakov fought with the
> angel (did he have wings??) who represented Aisav; Moshe Rabeinu is
> referred to at some point as an angel; so are the Avos.

There are many different levels of Angels.  Without refrences I can't
really go into much detail.  However, Angels are created to perform a
specific function for Hashem.  They do not have a free will as people do
and their abilities are limited in some ways.  (And greater than humans
in other ways.)

In chassidus we are taught that there are basically 2 parts of the soul
(this can be further sub divided.)  There is the Nefesh Behmah, the
animal soul, and the Nefesh Elokit. The Nefesh Behemah is what all
people have.  It includes the Nefesh Sichlas which is the part of the
soul that has a concept of honor and nobility.  The Nefesh Elokit is a
spark of Hashem that is part of Jews.  (The Divine Spark.)  When the
Nefesh Elokit comes down it is clothed in the Nefesh Behma (animal
soul.)  When the Nefesh Elokit goes back up when a person dies it goes
back to being a soul without a body.

Sometimes these souls come back (either sparks from or the whole thing I
assume.)  Thus we talk about the Moshe of our generation which is the
incarnation of the some part of the neshama (soul) of Moshe Rabeinu.
Now how all this works out with Temiat HaMeitim (ressurection of the
dead) I don't quite understand.

> The cheruvim in the Beis Hamikdash (may it be re-built soon) are
> supposed to be built with wings.
> Is the Christian concept of people becoming angels derived from Jewish
> concepts or did they miscontrue/misunderstand it, as they have many
> other beliefs.

As far as I know this is a misconstruction.  

I have not given you a very complete discussion on the above.  For more
on the concept of of Nefesh ha Behemah and Nefesh Elokit I would
recommend reading the Tanya (among other works of chassidus.)  The best
book for learning Tanya (unless you are already versed in Hebrew) is
called Lessons in Tanya.  It is a 5 volume set.  (Although the first
book will probably cover the basics of what is hinted at above.)  There
is also a bilingual eddition of the Tanya in Hebrew/English as well as
translations into Spanish (and probably other languages.)  I suspect
that most Jewish book stores could get you a copy of one of the above.
Kehot books publishes these (if anyone has their number?)  And if all
else fails you can try the various 1-800-JUDAISM book ordering places
(including 1-800-JUDAISM).

Good learning, 


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 12:02:56 GMT
Subject: Re: Following Orders

Predictable jokes aside, isn't guarding Israeli citizens as
well as government officials pikuach nefesh, even if the person being
guarded is violating the laws Shabbat at the time?

/ nysernet.org    

From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 22:09:52 IDT
Subject: Following Orders

> The question comes down to "Why did the army meed to guard the
> arrival of Peres' helicopter?"  If this is part of the need to guard
> our leaders at all times, and I assume that it is, then this
> certainly must also be done on Shabbat.  

 I disagree.  If Peres hadn't helicoptered to Ashkelon on Shabbat there 
 would have been no need to guard him would there? And I certainly don't
 think that any lives would have been endangered had Peres waited until
 after Shabbat to make the trip.  Therefore if there was ANY pikuach
 nefesh here (highly doubtful) it was CAUSED by a chilul Shabbos in the
 first place.  Not exactly a circumstance permitting chillul Shabbos.

 I should add that there is a tshuva of Rav Moshe in which he permits
 carrying neshek to guard a yishuv on Shabbos (the yishuv was Efrat
 and the question was posed by his grandson-in-law Rav Shabtai Rappaport
 of the Yeshiva there).  However there the pikuach nefesh is unavoidable.
 It's not the same as one who goes on Shabbat and DAVKA puts himself
 in a situation where his own protection is ostensibly pikuach nefesh.

 -- Carl Sherer
 	Adina and Carl Sherer
 		You can reach us both at:


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 17:10:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: IDF, etc.

Re Turkel's posting re the p'sak of the IDF.  Instead of insinuating
insults to the Rabbis who issued the P'sak, it would have been far more
worthwhile had he cited the opinions of Rav Ovadiah Yosef and others who
have *halachic* basis for disagreement.

The matter of "determining danger" is not nearly as simplistic as he
stated.  There have been a fair number of reports that the Army officers
*does* feel that the proposed evacuations *are* a significant risk and
they are doing so ONLY because the Rabin government is ordering this.
Further, anyone reading the news and speaking to residents of YESHA
regarding the increase in Terrorist Activity since "Oslo" and since the
on-going implementation of that "accord" would have reasonable grounds
to conclude that "redeploying" the IDF may well make the Arabs very
happy but it will dothing for the security of Israelis (incluidng those
living WITHIN the "green line").

I would suggest that Turkel go back and read the OTHER letter posted
regarding this p'sak and respond in terms of the halachic issues
involved rather than simply treat these Rabbonim as a bunch of fanatics.



From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 95 18:18:51 EDT
Subject: Judaism and belief in angels

Laurie Solomon <0002557272@...> writes:
>I was having a discussion with some friends in my office and wasn't sure
>how to respond.  Does Judaism have the belief that as people die, they
>become angels (with or without wings)?

Yes and no.

Judaism does believe in angels.  But no, people do not become them after

When a person dies, his neshama (soul is probably the best translation)
goes on to olam haba (the world to come - the afterlife, whatever that
is).  A human neshama does not become an angel at this time.  It remains
a human neshama, just without a body.

Angels (melachim) are created as they are.  An angel has no free will,
and is only capable of doing what God commands it to do.  Because of
this, human beings have the potential to rise to greater levels than any
angel is - when an angel obeys God, it's because it has no choice, but
when a human does, it's out of free will, which is far better.


From: <rachelr@...> (Rachel Rosencrantz)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 15:48:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Neshama's and Angels

I just called up my local phone shiurim to listen to yesterday and today's
Tanya. (There is a yearly reading schedule for the Tanya which can
be found towards the back of the Tanya (and also in the margins of
the Tanya.) For the 21st of Tammuz the drash starts with a discussion
of the differene between the Neshoma (soul) and Angels. 

I suppose you could start there to find information specifically on
the differences between Angels and souls.



From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 14:31:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Zohar

Yaakov Dovid Shulman cites a list of achronim who use the Zohar, and
therefore claims that the Zohar was written by R. Shimon Bar Yochai, as
these achronim would not have been fooled by a forgery.

Do any of the achronim listed specifically state who the author of the
Zohar was?  Maybe they were using a text that they assumed to be from a
rishon, and gave it the proper respect such a document deserves.

Treating an ancient text respectfully does not, by itself, prove the
users feelings about the authorship of said text.


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 95 01:35:38 +0300
Subject: Zohar

I must disagree with Stan Tenen's recent assessment of the Zohar and my
post concerning the importance (or lack of importance) of the Zohar.

I wrote:
>>A quasi-proof to the fact that the Zohar is not necessary for Torah
>>thought is the fact that...no Yeshiva elementary or high schools...teach
>>Kaballah/Zohar to their students. If Zohar is essential to a proper 
>>understanding of the Torah, one would think that these schools would at 
>>least touch the subject...

He writes:

>From my perspective, this is an example of the worst sort of circular
>reasoning...[This] reflects the fact that the teachers of our current
>yeshiva teachers did not teach *them* Kabbalah or Zohar either.

Perhaps, but this does not at all affect my point: whatever the reason
that Zohar is not currently taught, the fact is that we see (by looking
at the students coming out of these yeshivot) that Zohar is NOT
necessary to an understanding of the Torah.

>...Torah and Mishnah are rigged so that any dedicated and intellectually 
>honest student can, with diligence, recover what has been lost...

I don't know if I should take this statement as insulting or just
silly. I condsider myself intellectually honest, and I don't see the
kaballah as necessary to a proper understanding of the Torah...many
others feel the same.

>[we must] recognize that we can only understand how very essential 
>Kabbalah /Zohar is to Torah, after we have grasped what Kaballah and 
>Zohar are saying... 

I disagree. You keep on stressing that Kabbalah is essential to Torah,
but you have yet to explain to me why. Please give me an example of
something in the Torah which is incomprehensible on its own, but makes
sense using Kaballah.

>When we declare that the teachers at our yeshivas don't see the necessity to 
>teach Kabbalah, that, in my opinion, speaks poorly of their knowledge, and
>says nothing about the relevance of Kabbalah to Torah.

Sure it does. As I said above, I don't care what the reason is that
Kaballah is not currently being taught. But, we can see the effects of
the fact - and as far as I can tell (please explain to me why you think
it is otherwise), there have been no deleterious effects.

Let me try to explain. If Talmud were not taught in yeshivot, I think
students would not be able to properly approach Torah. Thus, Talmud is
essential to Torah. We see that this is not the case with
Kaballah. Thus, Kaballah is not essential to an understanding of the

In your future posts about the subject, please don't tell me how
important Kaballah is to a proper understanding of the Torah - instead,
show me an example. Also, please address the fact (which I don't think
you deny) that people coming out of yeshivot today seem to have a fine
understanding of Torah.  Also, you should realize that Kaballah is not
one of the 13 things which a Jew must believe in (as set forth by
Rambam, or, for that matter, as set forth by anyone else). You don't
seem to have accounted for this...

Jonathan Katz - <jkatz@...>
home phone: 342-996, room 8

From: Yaakov Shemaria <Yaakov@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 21:44:49 GMT
Subject: Re: Zohar

(In reply to your message dated Thursday 20, July 1995)

Whether or not we attribute the authorship of the Zohar to Rabbi Moshe
De Leon, or whether accept the view that the Zohar was revealed to Rabbi
Shimeon Bar Yochai,the Kabbala has radically influenced the way we
practice Judaism on a daily basis.Those who claim that the Zohar was
composed by Rabbi Moshe De Leon, why then do they put on tefillin in
accordance with the practice of the Kabbala? According to Rabbi Yoseph
Karo,one should put on the head tefillin before winding the straps
around our arm seven times(Orach Chaim siman 25 seif 8 see Mishna Brura
seif kattan 28) Why doven Kabbalat Shabbat,why not change the morning
blessings before the Shema, surely their origins stem from the Jewish
mystical tradition? .Why have hakafot on simchat torah.? I feel
therefore that discussions about the historicity of accepted works, that
have become an integral part of how judaism is practiced today, to
question their historiciity threatens the entire halachic system.

  Yaakov Shemaria


End of Volume 20 Issue 58