The Origins of Angels with Mika Ahuvia

Many within the realms of Magic, Spirituality, and Mysticism are well aware of heavenly messengers which are called Angels. While many are familiar with the depictions of them as winged celestial beings, their origins and deeds are a bit less well known in today’s world. Angels were incredibly important to the Ancient Jewish peoples, and more recent scholarship has begun to uncover to what extent Angels played a role in the nascent Judaic worldview. One of these scholars is my guest for this show- Author and professor Dr. Mika Ahuvia!

Dr. Mika Ahuvia is an associate professor of Classical Judaism in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. She teaches courses in Jewish Studies, Comparative Religion, and Global Studies. She received her Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University in 2014, specializing in the formation of Judaism and Christianity in late antiquity. Her recent book On my Right Michael, On my Left Gabriel: Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture was released in 2021 and is a fantastic work which elucidates so much about these Heavenly Messengers!

Listeners of WMiT? can now get a 30% Discount on Dr. Ahuvia’s amazing Book On my Right Michael, On my Left Gabriel: Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture! If Angels are interesting to you, or if they have some part to play in your worldview (Magical or otherwise) you need to read this book! Use the code 21W2240 at Checkout if you order from the link below!

Show Notes

One thought on “The Origins of Angels with Mika Ahuvia

  1. Interesting interview. On the Jewish Night Prayer, I recommend the unmatched work of Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition. I wouldn’t be surprised to find versions of the prayer in Jewish prayer bowls found in Iraq, as they certainly reflect Babylonian magico-religious influence of the time.

    “This night-prayer offers an interesting illustration of the tenacity of magical and superstitious forms. One of its constituents invokes the protection of the angels: “at my right Michael, at my left Gabriel, before me Uriel, behind me Raphael.” This is nothing more than a Jewish version of the ancient Babylonian incantation, “Shamash before me, behind me Sin, Nergal at my right, Ninib at my left,” or, “May the good Shedu go at my right, the good Lamassu at my left, ” etc.”

    Joshua Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion (Mansfield Centre: Martino Publishing, 2013), 156.

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