Sinning Angels: How is it Possible?

Question

On Yoma 67b, there is a mention of angels (Uzza and Azael) who sinned with the daughters of man. I thought angels did not have free will. If they do not have free will, how can the go against Hashem’s wishes by sinning?

3 months

Answers

  1. The Midrashic texts (see Yalkut Shimoni and Pesikta d’Rebbi Eliezer) explain that when the angels saw the wickedness of mankind, they came to came to God and declared that it would have been better if humans had never been created. God answered them that without human beings there would be no purpose to the creation of the world.

    Upon hearing this, the two angels said that it would have been sufficient to create the world just for the angels. God then responded that if they would have lived in the physical realms, they would not have been able to withstand the temptations of the physical world.

    And, on hearing that, the angels asked to be put into the world, to show God that they would sanctify His Name. They were then given permission to leave the Spiritual Realms and live in this world. However, in order to make the challenge balanced, they were given some physical attributes, such as free will, so that they would have to grapple with the seductions of the physical world like all human beings.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team