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What are Demons?

By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © July 24, 2020

Question from a reader:

Boker tov HaRav. I have a question: Who's Lucifer in Judaism?
And who's Uriel also IN JUDAISM?
I need an accurate answers please!!
Rabbi Shlomo's reply:

The concept of demons, Satan and Lucifer is different in Judaism than Christianity and Islam.

Humans were created with a dual nature or impulse. We refer to these as the yetzer (impulse or inclination) tov (positive/good) and yetzer ra (negative/bad).

With each decision we make we choose between these two impulses. Our choices create "waves" or reactions that can be thought of as "messengers" (angels) that we send forth into the world. Often times the negative "waves" are conceived of as devils while the positive ones are thought of as "angels." Consider Jacob's Ladder as an example. Ya'akov sent forth his angels and HaShem responded with His angels. Most of the time these "energy waves" are what are being referenced by "demons."

In addition to these, we are taught that all of existence is teeming with diverse life forms. In the celestial realms (the realm just above our terrestrial realm) there are celestial/non-physical entities. Like all beings they serve the Will of the one G-d.

Because humans are granted free will, unlike the rest of creation, these beings are sometimes sent as messengers (angels) to accomplish various activities to enable our free will to operate. So that those for example who wish to worship false gods may have experiences that bolster their free will to pursue these false/negative paths. These servants of HaShem are vital to the purpose of our (human) existence. We are here to realize that the King/Master/Lord... Beloved is true and all else is false/illusory. These messengers, whether "angels" or "demons" serve the Divine Will, as in: 1 Samuel 19:9, "the Lord sent an evil spirit on Saul...." and so on.

In reality HaShem alone is G-d and King of the multiverse. He alone reigns. He has no competition. What He decrees happens and none can stay His Hand (Daniel 4:35). No being of any realm of existence can do anything outside of His Will and Allowance. Everything that happens, the seemingly positive and the seemingly negative, arise from the Beloved and everything that occurs, including our own foolishness and the messengers that facilitate our free will, arise from HaShem and are for our very best, both individually and collectively. Those who are wise turn to HaShem and seek His Will.

On Isaiah 14:12: "How have you fallen from heaven, the morning star [הֵילֵ֣ל or Heylel or Lucifer]? You have been cut down to earth, You who cast lots on nations."

Rashi explains:

the morning star: This is Venus, which gives light as the morning star, הֵילֵל being derived from יהל, to shed light. This is the lamentation over the heavenly prince of Babylon, who will fall from heaven.

You have been cut down to earth: You, Nebuchadnezzar, who would cast lots on nations. You would cast lots on them, on the kings, who of them would serve you on such and such a day, and who on such and such a day. Our Rabbis, however, expounded this to mean that he would cast lots on the kings for purposes of pederasty.

Christians interpret this verse and others as referring to their anti-god Lucifer, but there is no reference in these passages to such a being. Seeking to promote their umbiblical dogmas concerning demonology they add their own baseless interpretations.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד
She-ma yisrael,
eloheinu, adonai echad
Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
This verse is followed by one line of text that is traditionally recited in an undertone: בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד
Baruch shem kavod malchuto l’olam va-ed
Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever
See, then, that I, I am He; There is no god beside Me. I deal death and give life; I wounded and I will heal: None can deliver from My hand -- Deuteronomy 32:39.

Have No Fear

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