Derech Hashem – The Way of G-d 2:5:4
G-d saw to it that each appointed angel would work at and fulfill its assigned role, and that it would only be prevented from accomplishing it in ways that He Himself set up.
And so, for example, the angel appointed over trees 1 would just naturally do all it could to keep them fit. Yet, G-d could have the angel appointed over wind 2 overpower some trees and thus over-rule the reign of the angel appointed over those trees, and knock them over 3.
Obviously, all of this is played out in very many ways and in different realms. For example, there are angels assigned over natural phenomena and their laws, and others that function as agents of Divine judgment. And the latter may affect and sometimes even countervail natural phenomena in order to carry out a judgment. There are likewise very many instances involved there, all of which are rooted in G-d’s own hidden ways 4.
1 Overall, as opposed to angels appointed over specific trees.
2 Also overall, as opposed to angels appointed to each instance of wind.
3 See Sod Hashem Liraiav 17 and Ari’s Sha’ar Hagilgulim 25.
That is, every angel has a nature and “post” which it never abandons — unless G-d wants it to. In fact, that’s the model we’re to follow in our service to Him; we too are to be sure and fixed in our beings rather than wind-driven and hesitant, and to always be braced and set to fulfill G-d’s will.
That’s also to say that G-d saw to it that there’d be an orderly delegation of duties in the world (see 2:5:3), but that there’d also be conflicts of interest which He would manage. Conflicts of interest play themselves out in human society, too, of course. It’s just that the human sort is often motivated by selfishness while none of that plays itself out in the angelic realm.
4 See Pitchei Chochma V’da’at 108-112, 125.
(c) 2018 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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Rabbi Feldman’s new annotated translation of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag’s “Introduction to the Zohar” is available as “The Kabbalah of Self” on Kindle here. His annotated translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here and his annotated translation of Rabbeinu Yonah’s “The Gates of Repentance” is available here.
He has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).