Monday, July 20, 2009

Ruach P'sak'nit: Who Speaks for Israel?

It is apparent that the people Israel could sure use some help. Spiritually, there have been numerous intercessors on our behalf. Among humans, we can immediately think of Moses,

[Hopeful Angel, by Paul Klee]

whose actions on our behalf are recorded in Torah.

The Sages also call attention to numerous times where the prophets following Moses speak in defense of Israel. Some argue that no prophet is worthy of the name unless he is willing at some point to step in between God and Jewish people. As it turns out, keeping us out of trouble in more than a full time job. Abraham, Rachel, and other virtuous ancestors, we are told, are still occupied with this advocacy long after they've died (LOTJ 4:304-10).

Among angels we are told, in various sources, that Michael (Exodus Rabbah 18:5), Gabriel (Sanh. 44b), and even an eponymously named angel, Israel (Mid. Teh. 8:6; PdRE 37), is our people's guardian spirit and advocate. Least known, however, is the Ruach P'sak'nit.

The Ruach P'sak'nit ("Intervening/Intercessory Spirit") Is a celestial defender of Israel. Perhaps based on the recording angel who pleads on behalf of suffering Israel in the Book of Enoch (1 En. 89.76), he goes by three names - Piskon, Itamon, and Sigaron (B.T. Sanh. 44b). He is given permission to dispute with God over matters pertaining to the Jewish people (Tanhuma, V'zot ha-Brachah). I was not aware of him when I wrote the EJMMM and would welcome anyone who knows of additional sources or traditions about any angel of these names or titles.

Zal g'mor - consult the Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism: http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Jewish-Myth-Magic-Mysticism/dp/0738709050


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