Ancient Jewish Prayers to Angels and Intermediaries

In Prayers of Jews to Angels and Other Intermediaries during the First Centuries of the Common Era, Meir Bar-Ilan writes:

It has been claimed that angels with divine power have no place in Judaism, a monotheistic religion, as the strength of such a religion lies in the exclusivity of the divinity. Angels can thus be no more than messengers, fulfilling God’s commandments. Indeed, in traditional Jewish prayer there appears to be no mention of the status of angels in general, nor of their role as intermediaries in prayer in particular. On the surface, the Siddur, or prayer book, would seem to indicate that Jews do not pray to angels or other divine agents, but solely to the Lord.

This, however, is not the case. Extensive analysis of the various sources of Talmudic literature reveals that there is some substance to the polemical claims of early Christians that Jews at that time did pray to angels. The current paper seeks to bring together all the evidence of Jewish prayers to angels and other intermediaries that can be found in sources from the first centuries C.E.

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