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Malachiim and Sheidim - Bechirah?

do they have it?

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#1 taon

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:36 PM

Do malachim and sheidim have bechira? I remember hearing there's a machlokes if angels have free will, but don't we have midrashim where they do something wrong?

As an aside, should we translate non-english words for readers who may not be as familar with hebrew, etc?

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 06:58 PM

Only human beings have free will, which is a function of the Neshama.

Angels are sometimes free to do as they please, but that still would not give them free will, because they have no Yetzer Horah and so have no desire to do anything other than what they should do. Animals also are free to do as they please, but they have no free will either, because they are the opposite of Angels - they are total Gashmiyus with no desire to do anything except what their base instincts tell them.

Humans have both the spiritual quality of Angels and the earthly characteristics of animals. And we have the choice to choose which one to follow.

The reason Angels sometimes do the wrong thing is not because they purposely want to do bad but rather they can make a mistake, and misinterpret their instructions. Hashem allows this to happen sometimes when it suits His plans.

#3 taon

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:21 AM

Thanks so much

#4 Jothar

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:17 AM

So how do we understand the fallen angels from parshas bereishis?

#5 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 04:48 PM

Even though Malachim have no free will to choose bad over good, they can still make mistakes. If information that was given to them is sufficiently ambiguous they can misinterpret their instructions, and do something that is wrong. This is not because they chose bad over good but because they erred.