8. The Nature of God's Creations
Yesodei HaTorah 2:3
Everything that God created in His world falls into one of three categories:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.