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Free will of angels


Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 22, 5779
Shalom Rav, Does angels have free will or emotions like man? What does Rashi mean when he said that angels will envy Adam and that is why ha- hem consulted them in berishith 1:26.?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. You are correct in thinking that angels do not have free will. The Midrashim that you quote are expressing spiritual concepts. Each angel is an expression of one factor of G-d's will. As such, the will express that factor as a “saying”. This will in turn be “answered” by a different voice – that of another side of the G-dly desire. So, when the angels argue with G-d, what we are reading about is different levels of Divine will being expressed. And while on one level (a more perfect spiritual level) the creation of Man is wrong (after all, why create man who can sin and bring imperfection into the wold?), on another level, Man should be created (in order to overcome his sin and earn true G-dliness). Of course these matters need far more study – but I hope this will lead you in the right direction. Blessings
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