Fighting the 70 ministering angels
It is written in the holy books that in shemayim – heavens there are 70 ministering angels, one for each of the 70 nations of the world. One ‘minister angel’ for each country.
There’s an ongoing battle that occurs between these ministering angels because each of them wants to rule over a bigger part of the world. Their ability to rule comes from how successful they are in diverting the spiritual and materialistic shefa – abundance of Eretz Yisrael.
A spiritual war
The spiritual portal for all the world’s abundance is located above the land of Israel, and this bounty first comes down to Eretz Yisrael and only afterward is it distributed to every corner of the world.
Around Eretz Yisrael, there are 70 openings and each of the ministering angels stands by their particular opening and takes their portion from the bounty that comes down to the world.
The nations of the world fight over who will rule over Eretz Yisrael, because when they rule the land, they receive a tremendous ability to rule over, and control the entire world.
The essence of the war between us and between the ministers of the world is that it’s a spiritual war.
Every minister has its own particular negative character trait or lust that he’s responsible for.
When Am Yisrael, collectively succeeds in overcoming this negative character trait or lust, this nation will immediately capitulate to us.
And when the opposite happens, God forbid, when Am Yisrael falls into one of these traits that are controlled by one of these ministers, then this ministering angel receives even more strength to rule over and enslave Am Yisrael.
All of these ministers receive their power from the root of all the lusts, which is the lust for immoral relations. This is the main strength of the most powerful yetzer hara – evil inclination that exists.
And so the essence of our war against these ministering angels of the foreign nations boils down to our war against the lust for immoral relations.
The last chance
In kabbalistic terms, this lust is called nukva de’tuma raba, and it’s the deepest pleasure afforded by this material world.
When a person gets some enjoyment from something material, from any lust and desires of this world. He’ll now start to look for all different types of that same lust so he can get even more enjoyment out of it.
This type of pleasure-seeking enslaves a person to the klipot – the evil side and also amplifies its strength in the world.
We need to know that right now, we’re before the geula – redemption and that the evil inclination feels that it’s about to be uprooted from the world. To us, it looks like the yetzer is very strong, and is ruling the world. But really? It can already see that its end is approaching and that’s why it’s amplifying itself in the world and fighting against us with all its strength.
Good vs Evil
Its battleplan is to try to give us the maximum enjoyment possible from the material world. The evil inclination hopes that by doing this, it’s going to beat us, and then it won’t be canceled out of the world.
Today, every single Jew is battling against the klipot, and against this main lust of immorality and its offsprings, and it’s a very difficult war. The evil appears to be winning at the moment, and it’s the easiest thing in the world to fall into the most disgusting places. All the gates of impurity are open and accessible.
But, on the other side of things, we need to know that the measure of good is always much greater than the measure of bad. The gates of kedusha – purity have also been opened, including the light of Rebbe Nachman, the light of the true tzaddik.
Today, we can go and visit kevarim –holy burial places of big tzaddikim like Yosef HaTzaddik, and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who merited to completely subdue the klipot. We can get some tremendous strength from these tzaddikim to continue our own fight and to finally pull away from the bad side and its lusts.
Self-Sacrifice and our true desire
This war against our lusts is split into two parts.
The first stage is when we make every effort we can, with mesirut nefesh – self-sacrifice, in order to not fall into them and to try to distance ourselves from them as much as possible. But we won’t always succeed! The evil inclination in our generation is very, very strong.
The second stage is to invest some mesirut nefesh on the side of our will, i.e. what we want to happen. This means to spend a lot of time doing hitbodedut – personal prayer.
We need to tell God that we don’t want any of the pleasures of this world and that all we want is just to be good Jews, and to be busy with Torah and doing more mitzvot.
Even if we feel as though the klipot are driving us crazy. And we’re stuck in a place of deep spiritual concealment and that it’s not really true to say that he only wants Hashem. Even then, we shouldn’t become confused!
we should just repeat over and over again, that “our true desire is to only be with Hashem, and to do Hashem’s holy will.
And this is the truth! Because the essence of a person is his holy soul, his neshama elokit- a godly soul and not his animal soul.
When we truly grasp a hold of this point of wanting good and really connect to it. And at the same time we are doing all that we can to get away from the bad, eventually, we will for sure succeed.
Because it’s by way of wanting good that we subdue the ministering angel that is actually overseeing that desire, and eventually, we will also win the whole war that we’re waging against the ‘bad’.
And this explains how Hashem was able to bring down the ministers before Moshe, and was able to tell him that they didn’t have any power anymore. Moshe was such a huge tzaddik, and he merited to achieve a level of completely rectifying his middot – character traits and lusts. So in his merit, Hashem was able to subdue all the ministering angels of the nations before the nation of Israel.
The people of Israel still had to go out and fight against the nations of the world, but the victory was guaranteed for them because their ministering angels above had already been defeated.
May it be Hashem’s will that we should also merit to achieve this.