Monday, March 28, 2011

Ministering Angels in a Hekalot text

Rabbi Ishmael said: How beloved is Israel before the Holy, Blessed One! Even more than the ministering angels! For [when] the angels want to recite songs first, before making, for instance, mountains of fire or hills of flame, the Holy, Blessed One says to them, 'Be silent, until I have listened to the songs and praises, prayers and pleasant melodies of Israel' as it is written, 'When the morning stars sang together' (Job 38:7)--this [refers to Israel--'and all the sons of God shouted for joy' (Job 38:7)--this refers to the ministering angels. When all the ministering angels and all the angels of the firmament hear the sound of the songs and praises that Israel sings below, they immediately open [their mouths and] in a loud voice say 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory' (Isaiah 6:3).
from Seder Rabbah diVraishit (The Great Order of Creation) 47, ms. published by S.A.Wertheim in Batei Midrashot (Jerusalem: Mossad HaRav Kook), 1952, v.I, pp.45-47.

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