CAN PEOPLE AFFECT THE HEAVENLY LEGIONS? [Famalya Shel Ma'alah: man]
(Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael) Question: Regarding Par Mashu'ach it says "Paroches ha'Kodesh." Regarding Par Helam Davar it is called only "Paroches". What is the reason?
Answer: A parable explains this. A province rebelled against the king. If the minority rebelled, his Famalya (cabinet of confidants) endures. If the majority rebelled, it does not endures.
Sanhedrin 67b (R. Yochanan): Kishuf (witchcraft) is called Keshafim, an acronym for MaCHchiSHim FaMalya (Shel Ma'alah, the Heavenly legions).
(R. Chanina): "Ein Od Milvado (other than Hash-m)" - even Kishuf (has no power).
A woman was trying to weigh the dirt under R. Chanina's feet (for the sake of Kishuf). He was not concerned.
Question: R. Yochanan taught that it is Machchish Famalya Shel Ma'alah!
Answer: R. Chanina was different. Because his merit was so great, it could not affect him.
(R. Eibo bar Nigri): Wherever it says 'b'Lateihem', this refers to actions done through Shedim. 'B'Lahateihem' refers to Kishuf - "v'Es Lahat Cherev ha'Mishapeches" (it moved by itself).
(R. Elazar): "Va'Yomru ha'Chartumim ...Etzba Elokim Hi" - Paro's Mechashfim recognized that the lice did not come through Shedim, for Shedim cannot create anything smaller than a barley seed.
(Rav Papa): They cannot create anything at all! Rather, they can gatherthings bigger than a barley seed, but not smaller.
99b (R. Alexandri): One who learns Torah Lishmah creates Shalom above and below - "Oh Yachazik b'Ma'uzi Ya'aseh Shalom Li Shalom Ya'aseh Li."
Chulin 7b (R. Chanina): One does not stub his finger, unless this was decreed above - "the steps of man are prepared by Hash-m"; "a man does not understand his way".
Shabbos 81b: Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna were going in a boat. A woman wanted to sit near them; they refused. She said something that made the boat stop. They said something that allowed it to move.
The woman: I cannot overcome you, for you do not kill lice on your clothing...
89a (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): When Moshe ascended to receive the Torah, Hash-m said 'you should help Me!'
. Moshe: "V'Atah Yigdal Na Ko'ach Hash-m ka'Asher Dibarta."
119b (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): If one answers 'Amen Yehei Shmei Raba' with all his Ko'ach (concentration), harsh decrees against him are torn up.
Medrash Sechel Tov (Shemos 7:11) Kishuf contradicts the Heavenly legions. It appears to do signs and wonders like of Hash-m. Heaven forbid to believe that it can do an actual act! They merely do illusions to make it appear this way, but really it is not, like it says "va'Yomru ha'Chartumim ...Etzba Elokim Hi."
Rashi (41b DH Famalia): A king's Famalya is his company that agrees with him. If the majority soured, his Famalya does not endure. He partially leaves their company, and is not as informal with them as before. Likewise, if most of Yisrael sinned, it is as if there is no Kedushah.
Tzitz Eliezer (14:17, b'Sof): The Yerushalmi (Ta'anis 2:1) says that when the Tzibur sins, the Gedulah (greatness) does not persist. Surely there is no less Kedushah, just it is not in its place. The place is not proper to contain Him.
Moreh Nevuchim (1:25): The idea of being Shochen in a place is consistently dwelling there. We apply this word to Hash-m, i.e. His Shechinah (created light) or Hashgachah is consistently in a place.
Noda bi'Yehudah (2 OC 107): The light He created and His Hashgachah are the same. His Hashgachah is not tangible. The light was Ne'etzal (copied) from it. We call the Hashgachah 'Shechinah'. When Yisrael do His will, the primary Hashgachah is in Yisrael, and He influences all good upon them. Because there is much good, it reaches also other places. Then we say that the Shechinah dwells in Yisrael.When Yisrael sins too much, they are exiled from their land to Nochri lands. All influence descends there, and Yisrael receive their bare needs from it.
Rashi (Shabbos 81b DH Amrei): Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna said a Tahor name (to make the boat move again).
Sefas Emes (Shabbos 81b): This connotes that one may not save himself through Kishuf. Perhaps here is different, for they were able to save themselves by letting her enter. Why did she say 'I cannot overcome you'? Her Kishuf worked! Perhaps where Kishuf works, a Name cannot be Mevatel it - 'Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah.' Rashi in Chulin (105b DH Amrei) says that they saved themselves through Kishuf, and some say that they saved themselves through a Name.
Rashi (Chulin 7b DH Keshafim): Kishuf contradicts the Heavenly legions. The legions did not decree that Ploni will die, and he dies through Kishuf.
Rashbam (Shmos 32:4): Were Yisrael lunatics to believe that the Egel took them out of Mitzrayim?! All idolaters know that Hash-m created the world. They err as follows. Idols have a Ru'ach ha'Tum'ah, just like Nevi'im have Ru'ach ha'Kodesh. The Egel spoke with Ru'ach ha'Tum'ah. They thought that it spoke with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh from above, and this Ru'ach ha'Kodesh would lead them. Ru'ach ha'Tum'ah of kinds of Kishuf were given to test Yisrael. Ov and Yid'oni were given power to be Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah and tell the future, to test if Yisrael will be pure with Hash-m and not believe Nevi'im of Ru'ach ha'Tum'ah - "Hash-m Elokeichem tests you, to know if you love Hash-m."
Ramban (Shmos 7:11, Vayikra 17:7): Lahateihem is Kishuf done through damaging angels, i.e. angels of fire. Perhaps this name is given to angels that dwell in the air on the spheres (that turn the celestial bodies). They are appointed over the other nations. B'Lateihem are Shedim. They have bodies from auir that is not felt. Learned witches know how to impose oaths on them. They can tell what will happen in the near future, but they have no power, so they are called "Lo Eloha."
Sefer ha'Chinuch (28): Hash-m created everything with a nature to do beneficial things in the world. Everything has a power above it forcing it to do its action, e.g. every grass has an angel above it telling it to grow. Hash-m commanded that we not mix seeds or animals to make a new species and Mevatel the species it came from. Chachamim say that Keshafim Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah, i.e. it temporarily overpowers the power above it. It does not say that it overpowers the decree above, for Hash-m decreed that this action come from them.
R. Bechaye (Shmos 22:17): Kishuf is connecting separate things. When lower things are connected, the forces above join, and a wondrous strange act results. The Isur of Kil'ayim resembles this. Joining the different powers damages greatly. The witches of Mitzrayim did wonders through nature. Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah is when a man below combines things opposite to the powers decreed in the motions of the celestial spheres. Man should let the world conduct normally like the simple nature that Hash-m created. This is like the Ramban. R. Chananel explains that it appears as if they are Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah. Really, they cannot change Hash-m's decree, like R. Chanina said. The Gemara said that he is different due to his merits, but we do not rely on this answer. Even though Kishuf has no power, a witch is Chayav Misah for transgressing Hash-m's decree. People are Chayav Misah even for violating the decree of a mortal king!
Rashba (1:418): Keshafim Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah, i.e. cause a lack of trust in Hash-m. Some of its powers are true, and they strengthen belief. However, others are mixed with Sheker, and weaken belief. The Torah tries to obliterate their memory, for they make people stray from Avodas Hash-m and acquiring true perfection and the basis of belief.
Rivash (92): 'Machchishim' means contradicting. They change nature that Shamayim arranged, e.g. to make a rod into a snake, like Paro's witches did. They are done through angels of fire. The Gemara brings episodes in which Kishuf changed things. Shedim can enter people, or bring things quickly from far away, unless they are too small.
Ran (Drush 4 DH uv'Zeh): Hash-m created the world in order that there will be a constant influence of Tov, and an influence of evil only when He wants, for a need. Engaging in Kishuf prepares the lower beings to receive evil influence, the opposite of what Famalya Shel Ma'alah arranged.
Abarvenel (Shmos 7:8): The witches of Mitzrayim used Shedim to make the appearance of snakes, blood and frogs, but they did not really create them. They are illusions. This is why they could not remove them. Damaging angels can harm; they cannot save.
Poskim and Acharonim
Bach (OC 47:2): If Yisrael engage in Torah in order that their limbs and sinews cling to Torah, they are the Merkavah. They would be the Heichal, and the Shechinah would dwell inside them. The entire land would illuminate from His glory. This would connect the Heavenly legions with the legions below, and the Mishkan would be one. In Bayis Rishon, they engaged in Torah for the sake of physical needs for their benefit, to know laws for the sake of business and to demonstrate their Chachmah. This caused the Shechinah to leave the land and go above. The land was left physical, without Kedushah. This caused the Churban.
Shlah (Balak Torah Ohr 2,14): Kesem is bringing down influence from the stars. Nachash is Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah. They do not harm Yisrael when Yisrael do Hash-m's will, for Ein Mazel l'Yisrael - "Lo Nachash b'Yakov v'Lo Kesem b'Yisrael." If one has great merits, even Kishuf cannot harm him. Bilam wanted to curse Yisrael at the time of Hash-m's anger, for then these can harm Yisrael. At the end, he said "I cannot do Katanah (curse through Nichush) or Gedolah (a curse that Hash-m Himself agrees to)."
Maharsha (Shabbos 89a DH v'Amar and 119b DH b'Chol): Tzadikim, through their words and Tefilos, add strength to Famalya Shel Ma'alah. If one answers 'Amen Yehei Shmei Raba', Hash-m uses all His Ko'ach to tear harsh decrees against the person.
Maharsha (Sanhedrin 99b DH Kol): The Famalya Shel Ma'alah naturally has Shalom. Sin causes prosection. Some members above advocate for man, and others prosecute. One who learns Torah Lishmah creates Shalom above. When Hash-m wanted to create man, Shalom said that he should not be created. Through learning Torah, there is Shalom below.
Toras Chayim (99b): Famalya Shel Ma'alah is the Heavenly legions and angels above, including snow, hail and fire. They do not harm the other, due to the great Shalom between them. They do not change their functions or intrude on others' realms. There is also Shalom among similar legions below, through engaging in Torah.
Maharal (Be'er ha'Golah, Be'er Sheni 4): Keshafim is what is Machchishim Famalya Shel Ma'alah. Something that is not an action, but merely telling or showing something does not depart from the way of the world. They would impose oaths (on Shedim) to force them to tell, just like we impose oaths on witnesses to force them to testify. This is not forbidden!
Chasam Sofer (Chulin 7b DH Keshafim): The Maharal says that those who impose oaths through Sefer Yetzirah are not Machchish Famalya Shel Ma'alah, for the world was created through combinations of the letters, and they know how to join the letters to transform matters, they use the same tools that Hash-m did. This is no contradiction to the basis of nature. Witches who use powers of Tum'ah do contradict. Still, this requires investigation.
Keli Yakar (Devarim 32:1): If not for Torah, man would be like an animal, without a portion from above. Therefore, one who engages in Torah makes Shalom between the upper and lower legions, i.e. there is an intermediary to unite them, so they do not oppose each other.
Aruch ha'Shulchan (OC 5:1): We say 'Baruch' in Berachos. Hash-m does not need our Berachos, Heaven forbid! Rather, it is like light that is reflected. (We bless Him, and) He puts Berachah on us. We must arouse this - "Tenu Oz Leilokim." All matters depend on our deeds. Therefore, we must add strength to Famalya Shel Ma'alah, and then Berachah descends to us - "Rochev Shamayim b'Ezrecha."