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Angels 3: Bad Angels

by Rabbi Adin (Steinsaltz) Even-Yisrael

The Thirteen Petalled Rose


Library » Torah » Kabbalah » Kabbalistic Concepts | Subscribe | What is RSS?


[Click here to read 'Angels 1: The True Story' & 'Angels 2: Wings on Fire'

Besides the physical world, the world of Asiyah also contains a spiritual world - in fact, many spiritual worlds. These worlds and their various chambers vary greatly - indeed, so greatly that it is extremely difficult to see any unity in their spiritual significance. On the other hand, those domains of the spirit that issue from wisdom and creativity - such as philosophy, mathematics, art, poetry, and the like, which are morally or qualitatively neutral in their ideas of truth or beauty - are readily recognizable. 

However, there are domains of the spirit that have a certain gnostic significance, with a different value system, and that thus lend themselves to either a positive or a negative spirituality. For just as there is room for both physical and spiritual functioning of all kinds that raise the world and man to higher levels of holiness in the world of Asiyah, so there is also that which makes contact between the world of human beings and those worlds lower than ours.

These worlds are called the "realms of evil", the worlds of the kelipah, the outer shell.

Just as there is in the domain of holiness the quality of love-in-holiness, of awe-in-holiness, and the like, so there are opposite emanations and impulses in the domain of evil
The domains of the kelipah constitute chambers in which there are hierarchical systems in which evil becomes more emphatic and more obvious with each distinct fallen level. And, as may be surmised, there is a strong interrelation with the world of Asiyah. For although in itself the world of Asiyah is neutral, in terms of its gnostic implication it belongs to the worlds of evil - and in particular to one of the levels of the outer shell called Kelipat Nogah. This is a level of being containing all that is not in its essence directed either toward or against holiness. In terms of holiness, then, it holds a neutral position. When a man sinks into this neutral position entirely, without disentangling himself at all from it, he fails to realize his specific human destiny and is found wanting in the very core of his being.

Beneath the domain of Kelipat Nogah are the thoroughly evil worlds. Each one of them has its own aspect of evil and as is the case with the worlds of holiness, is dynamically connected to the others, by the bonds of transformation between the worlds and planes, in a process that continues down to the very lowest depth of evil. As in all the worlds, manifestation takes three forms: worlds, year and soul. In other worlds, there is a general background of existence, acting as place in the spiritual sense (worlds), and there is an aspect connected with the relation to time and causality (year). In addition, they have a soul aspect: spiritual creatures inhabiting the worlds of evil.

These beings inhabiting the worlds of evil are also called "angels", but they are rather subversive angels, angels of destruction. Like the angels of the higher worlds, they are also spiritual beings and are limited each to a well-defined essence and each to its own purpose. Just as there is in the domain of holiness the quality (or angel) of love-in-holiness, of awe-in-holiness, and the like, so there are opposite emanations and impulses in the domain of evil - angels of destruction expressing love-in-wickedness, fear-in-corruption, and the like. 


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Philosophy » Creation
G-d » Creation

(fem. Tzidkanit; pl. Tzaddikim). A saint, or righteous person.