The Development of the Archangel Gabriel in Jewish Lore

As the scholar Joseph Dan has pointed out, the Hebrew Bible has many names for God, but no proper names for angels—with the exception of the book of Daniel, likely its least ancient part. In one of his visions, Daniel reports seeing an angelic figure he identifies as Gabriel. Gabriel the archangel plays a greater role in the apocryphal book of Enoch, and is known to Christians from the first chapter of Luke, and to Muslims as Allah’s messenger to Mohammad. But Jews too developed their own lore about this supernatural being, as Chen Malul writes:

In talmudic and midrashic literature, Gabriel usually appears as Michael’s companion: both archangels are charged with the safekeeping of the Jewish people. If Michael typically appears in the form of water and snow, Gabriel—described by Daniel as having “a face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches”— appears as a fiery flame. Sometimes the descriptions are reversed.

Perhaps because of his connection to fire and lightning, Gabriel is occasionally portrayed as a “harsh” or “hard” angel, whom God charges with punishing sinners and inflicting on them various calamities. In Genesis Rabbah [a midrashic compilation from the 4th or 5th century CE], he is revealed as the destroyer of the sinful city of Sodom, and in the Babylonian Talmud as the smiter of the camp of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. But . . . he is also the one who saves Abraham from the fiery furnace [into which, according to rabbinic lore, he was thrown by the wicked King Nimrod] and ensures the ripening of fruits in time to feed the hungry.

Read more at Librarians

More about: Angels, Daniel, Hebrew Bible, Judaism, Midrash

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation