web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


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

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion 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.

Current Top Story
UN Human Rights Council
UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes
Latest Blogs Stories
Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

Israel & world Jewry are under attack and in grave danger but UN’s focus is denouncing Israel

Doug Goldstein

What is human chess? How easy is it to predict the actions of others?

Rethink UN bias against Israel

It’s time to stand up against the bias & no longer accept the constant UN prejudice against Israel.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, one of four injured in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, has died (HYD)

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, injured in a terror attack in Samaria, has died (HYD)

Allah is NOT merciful: Stabbing, beheading, shooting innocents is barbaric & cowardly acts of terror

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

Hanan Porat z”l, teary-eyed said ” We returned to the Gush(Etzion)we shall return to the Gush(Katif)

“Mispachology”: Theory you share a common link with someone you’ve never met or been in contact with

It seems that Pres. Rivlin has joined all other so-called Right politicians and now is trending Left

Dear Muslims, Happy Ramadan. It’s clear from the news that your people are having a “bang-up” month

The President was right, every Jew should have a gun. He just asked the wrong person about it.

Everybody knows that during Ramadan Arab Muslim terror attacks increase.

UN says Hamas tried to warn us of rocket attacks? I was here. Not once did those…I want to scream

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} The inevitable finally happened. Rabbi Avi Weiss has dispensed with his prior refusal to call his female ordainees ‘rabbis’.  I challenged him to stop dancing around that title with made up titles  (like Raba and Maharat) and he finally rose to the challenge. His motivation in not […]

How can you transform thinking to action? What are the mountains you need to climb to reach goals?

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: