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Angels 2: Wings on Fire

by Rabbi Adin (Steinsaltz) Even-Yisrael

The Thirteen Petalled Rose


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[Click here to read 'Angels 1: The True Story'

Immediately above the world of Yetzirah is the world called  Beriyah, which, like the others, includes many different realms, levels, and chambers. And just as the world of Yetzirah is comprised of a multitude of spiritual beings whose essence is pure feeling and emotion, the world of Beriyah is a world of pure intellect. This mind quality of the world of Beriyah is not a merely intellectual essence but rather expresses itself as the power and capacity to grasp things with a genuine, inner understanding. It is, in other words, the mind as creator as well as that which registers and absorbs knowledge.

One of the other names for the world of Beriyah is "world of the throne", taken from Ezekiel's vision of the divine Throne of Glory. One the whole, however, that aspect of the Divine that is revealed to the prophets is the world directly above the world of Beriyah known as the world of tzilut. This is the source from which G-d is made known to a few, while the world of Beriyah is His seat or His throne, from which, as it is written, "the earth is His footstool". Moreover, the Divine Throne or Chariot is the means through which the divine plenty descends to the creatures and things of our world and makes contact with the many complex systems of all the worlds.

The seraphim are angels who manifest the higher levels of mind and also reflect the differences among various planes of consciousness and comprehension
In the world of Beriyah, there are chambers, so to speak, in which there is a certain measured rhythm of time, on one form or another, with a relation between past, present, and future, between cause and effect, and in which there are souls and creatures who belong specifically to this world. These creatures of the world of Beriyah, are the higher angels, called "serafim", from the Hebrew word for "burn", "saraf". Like the angels of the world of Yetzirah, the seraphim are singular abstract essences, not given to change, but whereas the angels of the world of Yetzirah are embodiments of pure emotion, those of the world of Beriyah are essences of pure intelligence. The seraphim are angels who manifest the higher levels of mind and also reflect the differences among various planes of consciousness and comprehension. 
Every creature of the world of Beriyah also serves as an angel-messenger, receiving the plenty from the angelic beings and the souls of the world of Yetzirah, and raising them up to a higher level in the world of Beriyah and further, to endless heights.

As the nature of consciousness ascends according to the supernal level of each world, the creatures of the world of Beriyah are more fully cognizant of the manner in which their world is constantly being created. At the same time, since the world of Beriyah is still a separate world, its creatures and souls have their own individual selves. They may indeed perceive the divine light, and they may fully accept its dominance in everything, but, in feeling themselves separate from this infinite light, they recognize their independent existence. Even the seraf yearns mightily to approach the Divine, despite his being so far above anything man can grasp. And despite his being the embodiment of understanding and higher intelligence, he is aware that his is a reality still disconnected from the Divine.

[Click here to read 'Angels 3: Bad Angels' 

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Philosophy » Creation
G-d » Creation

1. Major Jewish prophet who lived in the 5th century BCE. 2. One of the 24 books of the Bible, containing the prophecies which Ezekiel transmitted.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.