web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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
King Abdullah II
Intel: Abdullah — the Last Hashemite King of Jordan
Latest Blogs Stories
HaTnua Party Meeting

Is his article satire? Or does Kai Bird really think Tzipi Livni heads a “center-right” party?

Shabbat Table

Much as I’d like to see the Jewish nation fully observant forcing Shabbat on people is NOT the way.

game of thrones

Loyalty seems to be a lost trait in Israeli politics, whether it’s to ideals, principles or parties.

for-rent-148891_1280

Apartment hunting is kinda like dating: You go see anything that looks right on paper-and pray.

Latest headlines say that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud may only make third place if…

What are the roles of leadership and communication in running a “tight ship”?

Sabraman: Israel’s first superhero, combining the courage of the Sabra and the faith of Abraham.

Is Haredi open-ended learning on charity better than earning a living that would obviate that?

Hanuka is the miracle of emunah- belief in the L-rd of Israel and the light of our faith.

Limiting Jewish success and revival is that the anti-Jewish, anti-History Left rules here in Israel

The crisis in Jewish education is of existential importance. How should it be resolved?

BBC GUIDELINES ON TERRORISM: The word “terrorist” itself can be a barrier rather than an aid…

Discussion with entrepreneur William Heinecke on how he became a young, successful businessman

Did Cuba apologize for their spies the way Israel apologized for Pollard?

Nothing binds Jews together more than Torah observance; Or so one would think.

Sukkah tinsel decorations enjoy a robust market but are invariably manufactured for “another”holiday

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: