Past Weekly Shabbat Message
Rabbi Dovid Saks
(Torah Portion Vayairah) Creating Angels!
On the third day after Avraham circumcised himself, he was visited by three angels who disguised themselves as Bedouins.
Avraham, the consummate pillar of Chesed, quickly attended to all his guest’s needs despite his pain.
Each of the angels had a unique mission; one was sent to heal Avraham, one was sent to destroy the wicked cities of Sedom and Amorah, and one was to inform Avraham and Sarah that they would have a son in a year’s time.
The angel that related the news about Yitzchok’s birth told Avraham that he would return. However, we do not see the Torah mention angel’s return.
One of the commentators explains that indeed the angel returned, however, it was thirty-seven years later at the time G-d challenged Avraham to offer his son Yitzchok as a sacrifice.
When Avraham was about to offer his son Yitzchok, the Torah relates that an angel called out from heaven and instructed Avraham not to sacrifice Yitzchok.
This was the same angel who originally told Avraham about Yitzchok’s birth. He returned as he foretold, and was there to save Yitzchok’s life.
Our Sages tells us the name of the angel who told Avraham and Sarah about the birth of Yitzchok was Michael. In fact, the Baal Haturim points out that encoded in the words which describe the angel calling out to Avraham not to slaughter his son, is the name of the angel Michael.
The great Vilna Goan understands the verses dealing with the angel calling out from heaven to Avraham, in a different fashion.
The angel said, “Now I know that you are a G-d fearing man, since you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me.”
There is a blatant question regarding the end of the verse. How can the angel say, “from me?” Was Avraham sacrificing Yitzchok to the angel? Certainly not! The verse should have said, “from G-d.”
The Vilna Goan in his brilliance explains this with the following concept. Our Sages teach us that when one performs a Mitzvah, he creates an angel that represents and advocates regarding the Mitzvah that he fulfilled. Conversely, when one does a misdeed or sin, an angel is created which represents his errant deed.
The shape, condition and character of the angel created through one’s Mitzvah performance is commensurate to the level of devotion, sincerity, enthusiasm and intent the person had.
The more genuine the act, the more robust the angel created.
The Torah attests that every one of Avraham’s actions leading up to the binding of Yitzchok was totally pure in its intent. For it is written, “Now I know that you are a G-d fearing man.”
The nature of the angel created from Avraham’s deed was as pure as possible.
Says the Vilna Goan, “The angel which called out to Avraham and told him about his total devotion was actually the same angel created through Avraham’s own deed!”
The angel therefore stated, “From me - I know that you are a G-d fearing man - because looking at my pure angelic essence created through your act I can tell the purity of your devotion!”
Angels that we create from our sincere deeds are there to testify, protect and assist us!
Wishing you a most enjoyable and exciting Shabbat!
Rabbi Dovid and Malki Saks and family