04 March 2012

Michael - Our Defending Angel

10 Adar 5772

I received the following from a reader:


I knew that the Angel Gavriel is fire so it stands to reason that Michael might be snow, so I googled it and this is what I found.


At the head of the angelogical system described in rabbinic literature are four archangels, corresponding to the four divisions of the army of Israel as described in Numbers 2: "As the Holy One blessed be He created four winds (directions) and four banners (for Israel's army), so also did He make four angels to surround His Throne — Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael. Michael is on its right, corresponding to the tribe of Reuben; Uriel on its left, corresponding to the tribe of Dan, which was located in the north; Gabriel in front, corresponding to the tribe of Judah as well as Moses and Aaron who were in the east; and Raphael in the rear, corresponding to the tribe of Ephraim which was in the west."

...Michael is made up entirely of snow and Gabriel of fire, and though they stand near one another they do not injure one another, thus indicating the power of God to "make peace in His high places." According to the Aggadah, Both Michael and Gabriel will be among those who will accompany the Messiah, and they will then contend with the wicked.

Michael is considered superior to Gabriel in rank and wherever he appears, the glory of the Shekhinah, the Holy Spirit, is also bound to be found. Each nation has its guardian angel, Michael being the guardian angel of Israel. He acts as the counsel for Israel's defense when the wicked bring angels charges against them before God. According to the midrash, Michael is the angel who prevented Abraham from offering up Isaac at the Accede; informs Sarah that she will give birth to a boy; rescues Abraham from the furnace; instructs Moses; smites the army of Sanneherib; endeavors to prevent the exile by pleading on Israel's behalf to God; and defends the Jews of Persia when Haman plotted to destroy them

Pretty cool, huh?

Interestingly, this is the second time I'm hearing about Angel Michael this week as Rabbi Sitorsky also mentioned him in his shiur on Parsha Tetzaveh (9 mins in):

The siman [for the number of pasukim in a given parsha] for Parshas Tetzaveh is Michael. How many pasukim in Tetzaveh - 101. 101 pasukim equal to the word "Michael."...There are many different interpretations as to what the connection of Michael to Parshas Tetzaveh is... Last week we talked about Malach Michael who in our time is the...defense attorney of Klal Yisrael. Michael is the one who is going to defend Klal Yisrael in the last moments prior to the geula as it says in Daniel 12:1... There'll be a terrible situation like there never was since Klal Yisrael became a nation....at that time Michael will stand in defense of Klal Yisrael. ...Michael is the one who stands opposite the Sar Malchus Paras, who is today...Iran. Sar Malchus Paras is the gematria of haster astir - that's the hester panim of now, like there was a hester panim in the time of Purim.

...There's an interesting medrash in Esther Rabbah and there it says clearly that Michael was the malach at that time. The medrash says that Haman, while he was being mekatreg on Klal Yisrael, at the same time, ...Michael is defending us....So Michael was
[our defender] at that time and Michael will be [our defender] prior to the geula, where Klal Yisrael will be plunged into a hester panim like they were then, where it was Paras and now it's also Paras.

Michael is the malach who comes after the petirah of Moshe Rabeinu. While Moshe Rabeinu was alive, there was no Malach Michael. There was no need for Michael. In fact, Hashem says to Moshe Rabeinu, "I'm going to send a malach." We read that in Parshas Mishpatim... However, Moshe Rabeinu refuses. He says, "If you don't lead us, I don't allow it." Moshe Rabeinu says in Parshas KiSisa, the parsha that we always read in the week of Purim, Moshe Rabeinu says, ...(Rashi) "You want it to be with a malach. No, I want it to be You, Yourself." Hashem Himself without a malach.

...But, after Moshe Rabeinu leaves this world, as it says in Sefer Yehoshua, Yehoshua confronts the malach, ...he says, "I'm here to help you." (Rashi) He didn't come in the time of Moshe, because Moshe didn't want it, but now I am going to be your representative and Rashi quotes the pasuk from Daniel. ...Michael is our representative that comes in the time of hester panim. ...When Sar Malchus Paras wants to take over the world then...Michael steps in.

And that's the remez here, Parshas Tetzaveh - Michael siman. Moshe Rabeinu is not mentioned in Parshas Tetzaveh. When Moshe's not here, we have to come on to Michael. When there's a hester panim, this Shabbos before Purim, the nes of Purim came about because of the [defense] of Malach Michael.

And davka, it snowed on Erev Shabbat, Parsha Tetzaveh.