Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Joshua Trachtenberg, , at sacred-texts.com
1. The Bible speaks of great "hosts" of angels; see, e.g., Josh. 5:14, 15, I Kgs. 22: 19, Job 25:3: "Is there any number of His armies?" etc. The Talmudic literature accepts unquestioningly this doctrine of an infinitude of angelic beings, which remained the prevailing view throughout the Middle Ages. Cf. Schwab, Vocabulaire, 6; JE, I, 583 f.; Rokeaḥ, 362.
2. S. Ḥas. 305: בריות בראשית יש ממונה עליהם; S. Ḥas. B. 1160: אין דבר שלא יהא מלאך ממינה עליו אפילו מל עשב ועשב; Eleazar of Worms wrote (Kammelhar, 53): על בל דבר מלאכים ממונים ואין לך פנה בעולם שפנוי מן המלאכים השומרים. Cf. also Güd. I, 162, n. 2, 169, and Ḥochmat HaNefesh, 18a. This notion was not unknown in contemporaneous German thought, as witness this statement from a sermon by Berthold of Regensburg (ed. Kling, p. 16), quoted by Güd. (loc. cit.): "Er [Gott] hat zu ieglichem künigriche einen engel gesetzet, der des künigriches da hütet, und danne zu ieglichem
hertzogetüme and zu ieglichem lande, daz ein lant mit sünderm namen ist, and danne zu ieglichem bistüme einen, and zu ieglicher stat einen, die in den landen and in den bistümen sint, and danne zu ieglichem dorfe einen, and zu ieglichem kloster einen, and zu ieglichem hüse einen, and zu ieglichem menschen einen sünderlichen, ez si jüng oder alt, getauft oder ungetauft, einem ieglichen christen menschen sünderlichen einen hüter and einen engel gegeben, and halt ieglichem heiden and ketzer and iüden and slafenen [Slav] and tatanen [Tartar]; ez sin iene oder diese, die nach menschen gebildet sind, der hat iegliches sinen engel, der sin hütet." Medieval Christianity shared with Judaism a very rich angelology, and put it to similar magical use in the so-called "Notory Art," which was not the most prevalent form of Christian magic. The specific concept of the "deputy," however, though intimated in the above quotation, seems to have made no inroads into Christian mysticism.
3. Cf. Raziel, 19b.
4. Ẓiyuni, 15e; cf. Suk. 29a; Cant. R. 8:14; Mek. Beshallaḥ, Shirah, II: even in the time of the Messiah God will not punish any nation until he shall have first punished its heavenly prince.Ẓiyuni, 10c: המזל והמלאך המגינים על האדם; S. Ḥas. B 1157: שכל ענין שאדם עושה מלאך מזלו מראה באותו ענין למעלה. The terms "star" (mazal), "angel" (malach), "prince" (sar) and "deputy" (memuneh) are often used synonymously in this connection.
5. S. Ḥas. 1082, 133, 524, 1158, 826, 1461; Joseph Omeẓ, 351.
6. S. Ḥas. 1453; Rokeaḥ 201; Raziel 4a ff.
7. The thirteenth-century mystics were especially addicted to this doctrine; cf. Ḥochmat HaNefesh 16d, 18a, 29d; S. Ḥas. B 1162; Ẓiyuni 5c; Güd. I, 207, n. 2. William of Auvergne (thirteenth century) offered a similar explanation of such phenomena, with the important difference, however, that he attributed them not to angels but to the demons whom the sorcerer had invoked; cf. Thorndike, II, 350.
8. For a detailed exposition of rabbinic angelology see L. Blau, JE, I, 583 ff.; G. F. Moore, "Intermediaries in Jewish Theology," Harvard Theological Review, XV (1922), 41-85. Kaufmann Kohler's article (JE, I, 589 ff.) is especially valuable for its discussion of the early non-rabbinic sources. The Talmudic "princes" to whom particular provinces were assigned appear often in the mystical literature of the first Christian centuries, as well as in the writings of the Church Fathers (see Thorndike, I, 343, 453 f.) and were accepted by the medieval Church and Synagogue. See also EJ, VI, 626 ff.; Güd. I, 162 f.
9. J. Ber. 13a: "If trouble befall a man, let him not cry to Michael or Gabriel, but let him cry to Me and I will answer him at once." See, however, Echah R., II, 6, and JE, VI, 203, for a Midrashic account of conjuration of angels.
10. Where the older Midrash (Gen. R. 10:6) reads: "There is not a blade of grass which does not have its star in heaven," the younger (Mid. Tehillim, ed. Buber, Vilna 1891, 104, p. 440) has, "Every single thing has its appointed angel (memuneh) over it." These quotations, with the substitution of a newer concept for an old, give us the clew to the confusion and combination of the two which I have noted. I don't think Ginzberg (Legends, V, 110, 159) is justified in reading the sense of the second into the first. The connotation of the one is astrological, of the other, theosophical. A closer rendition, in theosophical terms, of the Platonic concept is to be found in this Geonic statement: "There are those who maintain that for each species of living creature [that He was about to create] God first created a corresponding species of angel in heaven and asked them, 'How would you like it if I should create a replica of you on earth?' And according to their opinion and their wish did He go about the work of
creation." B. M. Lewin, Otzar haGaonim, V (Jerusalem 1932), Part II, p. 22 (cf. Ḥul. 60a).
11. Kammelhar, 53; Eleazar even agreed with the philosophers that the angels are "Intelligences," ibid. (cf. More Nebukim, II, 6).
12. Cf. More Neb. II, 42; Naḥmanides on Gen. 18, beg.; Kuzari, III, 11; Moses Taku, Oẓar Neḥmad III, 61; Güd. I, 207, n. s; Kammelhar 52; and Güd. I, 169, citing a ms. work of Eleazar of Worms.
13. Cf. Shab. 12b and Sotah 33a; Maḥ. Vit. §87, P. 54-5; HaPardes, 23a, 58a-b; Yore Deah 335:5; Shelah II, 146a; S. Ḥas. B 32, 1134. HaPardes 22d accounted for the Aramaic invitation to participate in the Passover meal, which serves as an introduction to the Seder service, on the ground that the demons, like the angels, speak Hebrew (cf. Ḥag. 16a), and an invitation in that language would overwhelm the proceedings with a host of these unwelcome guests.
14. Tos. Shab. 12b. See also Tos. Ber. 3a, which takes issue specifically with Maḥ Vit., loc. cit.; Teshubot HaGeonim, ed. Harkavy, §373, 188 ff.
15. Eleazar of Worms divided these two types of service between two classes of angels, the angels (or messengers) proper, and the servants of God: מלאכים נקראים אותם הנשלחים לבני אדם ואותם של פניו נקראים משרתיו Kammelhar, 53. The medieval Kabbalah distinguished ten classes of angels, but aside from one or two bare references to such a classification (cf. Ẓiyuni, 49a; H. Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 411) they do not enter into North European speculations. Cf. Ginzberg, Legends, V, 23, n. 64, and 70, n. 22; JE, I, 591.
16. See Kammelhar, loc. cit.; Teshubot HaGeonim, ed. Harkavy, §373, p. 189; Paaneaḥ Raza, 23a and Ginzberg, Legends, V, 237, n. 154.
17. Moses Taku, Oẓar Neḥmad III, העולם כולו ביד הקב״ה ומינה מלאכים על בל אדם.
18. Cf. I. Elbogen, Der jüdische Gottesdienst, Leipzig 1913, p. 385; Lebush on Oraḥ Ḥayim 584:1; Kol Bo §67; Yeven Meẓulah, 20. See JE, I, 592, for parallels in the apocalyptic and rabbinic literature.
19. Rokeaḥ §362; cf. Ḥag. 13b and Tos. ad loc. See Moore, Harvard Theological Review, XV (1922), 62 ff., for discussion of Metatron.
20. Aramaic Incantation Texts, 112.