Judaism recognizes angels watching over us

Excuse me while I digress for a moment. Is anyone else startled that the names Osama and Obama rhyme so obviously? What’s with the 70-degree weather in January? What am I supposed to do with all the leftover red satin yamulkes after my son’s bar mitzvah?

Thanks for letting me vent. Now I feel better. The other night I was driving my van on Clayton Road in Town and Country, and I hit a deer. I saw the huge gray buck cross the road, but it was too late to swerve out of the way. No other cars were around me. I put my foot on the brake and gripped the steering wheel as I slammed into the side of the animal that suddenly appeared in my headlights. I’ll never forget the gruesome image of its massive body tearing into pieces in front of my windshield. I was okay, and no one else was involved. I prayed that the deer hadn’t suffered. Somehow I stayed calm as I continued to drive straight ahead, slowly and cautiously. When I finally pulled into my garage at home, I got out of the car and was shocked to see the smashed hood and bumper. A chunk of deer hair was still stuck under the Nissan emblem. It grossed me out, but I knew how much worse the serious situation could have been.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

I felt like someone was looking out for me that night. I wanted to say a prayer in gratitude. When we escape danger or recover from illness, we say Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, sheg’ malani kol tov. It means, “Thank You, God, for Your comfort in time of fear and Your kindness in my time of need.”

Perhaps you’ve experienced the feeling that someone is watching over you, like a guardian angel. Some people believe that a protective spirit whispers to them through their gut instinct, a hunch, or intuition. The word intuition, by the way, means “in to you” in Latin.

I try to pay attention to my inner voice, even if I ignore the message sometimes. I used to call this my Divine Spirit talking to me, then again I sat cross-legged on top of a vortex in Sedona and chanted “oooommmm” in my earlier metaphysical days. Seriously, I believe that we’re all born with a sixth sense or extrasensory perception (ESP) that allows us to communicate beyond the physical realm.

Even the famous analytical psychologist Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” The Swiss influential thinker wasn’t Jewish, but his widely respected philosophies are reflected in the roots of Judaism.

Sure enough, the sources of the angels used in Kabbalah and ceremonial magic are primarily Jewish. The word “angel” is derived from the Christian Latin “angelos”, itself derived from the Greek “aggelos”, which is a translation of the Hebrew word “mal ach”, a messenger.

The Hebrew word for letter, OT, also means sign or wonder or miracle. For thousands of years, Jewish sages have taught that the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, the Aleph Beit, embody wonderfully miraculous powers.

No wonder the idea of something unexplainable like an angel makes sense to me.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Currently, she is obsessing over the music for her son’s upcoming bar mitzvah, so please feel free to send any advice to: [email protected] or visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.