8. The Nature of God's Creations

Yesodei HaTorah 2:3

Everything that God created in His world falls into one of three categories:

  1. Creations that are a mixture of both matter and form. Such things constantly come into existence and cease to exist. This includes such things as the bodies of man and animals, and plants.
  2. Creations that are a mixture of both matter and form but that do not change as the items in the first category do. Instead, their form is a permanent state of their matter. This includes the heavenly spheres and the stars. Their matter and form are different from that of us transient beings.
  3. Creations that have form but no matter. This includes angels, who are non-corporeal beings without physical bodies, though they do possess individual forms.

Yesodei HaTorah 2:4

When a prophet describes an angel as being made of fire or having wings, he is speaking metaphorically. This is similar to Deuteronomy 4:24, which says that "Hashem, your God, is a consuming fire." Surely God is not fire! Such descriptions are mere metaphor and parable. In the same way, when Psalms 104:4 tells us that "He makes His winds," it’s a metaphor.