web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Blogs » DovBear »

Why Do We Say the Angels Cried into Isaac’s Eyes?

This post will attempt to explain how the idea of the crying angels developed.
By:
angel-crying

Every school kid knows that Isaac went blind because the angels wept into his eyes while he was tied up and awaiting slaughter. Or, that’s one of the five reasons given by the midrash anyway. This post will attempt to explain how the idea of the crying angels developed.

The tears the angels shed at the Akeida are said to have done two things. (1) They landed in Isaac’s eyes, later blinding him and (2) They melted Abraham’s knife (GR 56 6) which is why, in Gen 22:12, the interfering angel told Abraham not to cast his *hand* against the lad. The previously-mentioned knife was already gone, see?

But before the tears could be invoked to solve textual problems like the missing knife and the blindness of Isaac which Gen 27:1 says was caused “מֵרְאֹת”, i.e, from seeing something, first the tears had to be established in their own right. Genesis Rabbah 56:5 tells us how this happened

According to GR 56:5 the existence of these tears is derived from Isaiah 33:7. Here’s the verse

הֵן, אֶרְאֶלָּם, צָעֲקוּ, חֻצָה; מַלְאֲכֵי שָׁלוֹם, מַר יִבְכָּיוּן. ח נָשַׁמּוּ מְסִלּוֹת, שָׁבַת עֹבֵר אֹרַח; הֵפֵר בְּרִית מָאַס עָרִים, לֹא חָשַׁב אֱנוֹשׁ.

In the first part of the Midrash, angels, specifically angels associated with Jerusalem, ie Moriah, are imagined to cry bitter tears after screaming “Chootzah.” In the midrash, R’ Azariah imagines Chootzah to mean “This is unnatural!” It is unnatural for a father to kill his son.

The next verse, Isaiah 33:8, is construed by the midrash as the angelic defense of Abraham.

Here’s my attempted translation of the whole passage:

The Arielim, that is the angels associated with Ariel, ie Jerusalem (Moriah) cried “Chootzah= Its unnatural”! (for a father to slay his son) and the angels of peace, or if you prefer, the angels of Salam ie, Jerusalem (Moriah) cried bitter tears saying:

“The paths are waste [Without Abraham to show hospitality to strangers] the wayfaring man ceaseth [connection to Sarah: unclear] he hath broken the covenant [ie the covenant established with Isaac will be broken if he is slaughtered] he [ie Abraham] hath despised the cities [which is why he lives in the desert seeking guests] he regardeth no man [but He, i.e, God, should regard Abraham who has merit!]”

So to sum up, first a drasha on Is 33:7 gave us Akeida tears; later those tears are used to solve two different textual problem.

Visit DovBear.

About the Author: DovBear blogs at: DovBear. For lack of a better metaphor, please consider this blog a very large shabbos table, where we sit together and discuss the parsha, the news, and other events of the day. Sometimes we yell, often we gossip, and, once in a while, the talk turns salacious. Our arguments are lively, but at the end of the day, its all just talk. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why Do We Say the Angels Cried into Isaac’s Eyes?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A look inside the IAF war room
IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards
Latest Blogs Stories
About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, once he’s “former president Obama” he’ll join anti-Israel Jimmy Carter against Israel.

train track grafitti

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

Doug Goldstein

Find out how to set goals and take better care of your finances.

Does this look like a scene where Israeli police might have shot "two Palestinian civilians," as CNN claimed?

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Australian Ambassador to Israel ran to the hospital in J’m to visit the wounded and to donate blood

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

Pop quiz: The shortest book ever written? “Palestinian History and Positive Contributions” text book

We are the continuing generations from our Father Avraham who was given this Land by our L-rd.

When a country supports ($) the PA or Gaza or “recognizes,” “Palestine,” they promoting terrorism.

There is no question whatsoever that Odeh was behind the fatal bombing of a SuperSol market in 1969

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

Channel 10 TV published on Sunday a poll they commissioned asking Israeli Arabs a rather straightforward but important question:

Today”s discussion: “The effects of current geopolitical situation around the world on investing.”

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

Master Sergeant Zidan Saif (Zt”L) a Druze from the Galilee, was shot and killed saving Jewish lives.

President Rivlin’s recent statements are only half right, and that’s why he’s completely wrong.

More Articles from DovBear

All groups have a mix of both good and bad people; it’s the ratio that differentiates us.

haredi protest with hat

Those who live lives of no sports, entertainment, or outdoor activities take what they can get.

Here is why opponents of R Shteinman think you should oppose him too.

Bring the professor and tell him off in a way the students can respect and understand.

This reduces the halachic process to an entirely ad hoc system.

Saul is neither the first nor the last of the wolf pack to unite the tribes.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews participate in Daf Yomi at some point.

Sinai is not history, Sinai is a happening.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/dovbear/why-do-we-say-the-angels-cried-into-isaacs-eyes/2013/11/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: