I said:I think you may find the winged version of angels comes from Greek art - my impression is that angels are generally not described as having wings in the Bible - sometimes appearing like a man, or dressed in white, and although Ezekiel's vision has angels with wings, they appear very different to the 2 winged people kind we might associate with the image.
If I recall, Greek's were putting wings on figures to ascribe divinity (along with halos) before Christianity, and the practice continued on with Christian art in the Graeco-Roman world.
h| Dauer,dauer said:A Jewish understanding says that angels have no free will of their own, as with Islam. They are simply servants of God. But in Judaism there is no devil.
Beliefs about the nature of angels can vary quite a bit. One form of rationalism states that angels should not be regarded as beings at all. There's a quote from a primary source available at wikipedia:
But according to other views angels are indeed some type of being and some sources would even say that there are whole worlds beyond us populated with celestial beings.
h| dauer,dauer said:Thipps,
I'm really not certain what you were reading about. Spirit/wind/direction in Hebrew is ruach, which I think parallels ruh (?) in Arabic, and to my knowledge isn't associated with any particular type of being. If you could put me in the direction of what you were reading, I might be able to be a bit more helpful. BB, as well, might know a little more on this subject than I do.
There are folk stories from the middle ages about demons, but they're much like the Christian stories, only the demons sometimes get into legal disputes, are taken before a bet din, a jewish court, and then follow whatever ruling the court makes. But those stories aren't so much canonical as much as they are a product of the times.
I took a look at the Jewish Encyclopedia entry on Solomon. It looks like the most explicit mention of spirits is in the section on "Solomon in Arabic Lit." For example, there is a story given about Solomon and Sakhr, the first given source of which is the Quran. However, in the section entitled "His Realm" it states: " His realm is described by the Rabbis as having extended, before his fall (see below), over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants,including all the beasts, fowls, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits." which is based on rabbinic sources.
There are certain beliefs that appear sometimes in rabbinic literature that today are often attributed to Babylonian influence, and usually disregarded for this reason. For example, there is a section that, as I recall, warns about thieves stealing tefillin left in the window of an outhouse. But another opinion given is that the disappearing tefillin is due to demons in the outhouses. I would surmise that the idea of spirits is similarly attributed to Babylonian influence, but I could be wrong. BB's contribution would be helpful here.
For quick reference, this is a link to the section:
h| Dauer,dauer said:Thipps,
to my understanding the references to demons in rabbinic lit is generally regarded as superstition picked up from the Babylonians, similar in fact to the way stories about demons show up in the middle ages. I would surmise the same is true for spirits, but I'm not certain. I'm talking about the Orthodox position. Again, BB's input would be helpful here.
Angels are connecting elements between the various worlds (spiritual realms). They are not beings, but motivations that control people, situations, or opportunities. They are the messengers of what we call good and bad luck in the world of Asiyyah (the physical world).
Rabbinical tradition (Genesis Rabbah 50:2) says that “an angel is never in charge of more than one mission, just as two angels are never in charge of the same mission. Each motivation is sent from one world to another towards a specific destination, because they were called upon from our dimension. In other words, any one of us could be seized by one of these motivations and become a messenger, a facilitator between worlds. We introduce certain people, or draw them towards opportunities, or because of something we do, someone is at a certain place at a certain time. …What happens is that we are part of the interconnections of this universe, and as such we become agents of luck, either good or bad. We are made into angels and fulfill our mission by mediating these motivations.
Motivations range from segulah (wealth) to zekhut (merit), and they may load us with plenty or confirm our lacks. In a Hasidic tale, the Keretzer Rabbi said, “When we help someone, we create the angel called Azriel (literally, Helper of God). When we contribute to tzedekah (justice), we create the angel called Tzadkiel (literally, Justice-maker of God).”
When we are aware of these interconnections, we send up to the other worlds intentions that will later come back as motivations. If we pay attention, we realize that these intentions are already motivations in this dimension. But it is only when they come back to us as angels, affecting us directly, that we notice their presence-to our great surprise.
This is the most frightening element of our reality. We discover that we are not always heading where we think we are, or for the reasons we believed. We are much more interactive than we imagined. This is such a dangerous insight that those who delve too deeply into it may experience emotional disturbances. The extent of our interactive essence is extremely disturbing to our sense of ego boundaries. But if on the one hand this realization unsettles us, on the other it makes for true understanding of certain (Cosmic) and life processes.
Rabbi Nilton Bonder, The Kabbalah of Money
The Quranic concept of angels and what primarily they are ordained by God to do in all times past,present and future is amply described in following verse of Quran, Chapter 41 Ha Mim Al-Sajdahpeace4all said:muslims believe in, but I wanted to limit this post to what the Koran says.