smiley10000 said:Angels are said to have one leg, this is why we say the Shemoneh Esreh with our feet together-to stand like angels. Now what this means no clue, I have never learned the Gemorah...
I am not really sure the Source for the above. And I believe strongly in sources. The most prevelant reason given for standing with feet together during The 18 Bendictions (Shemonah Esreh) is that you are standing before God and this prayer includes not only praise but also all your private supplications. Thus you stand at ATTENTION before the King. Just as you would stand at attention before a Human King, all the more so you stand at attention before the King of Kings.
As to the way angels look. Oh boy. You have many diff. categories of angels. Just to name some from the Shabbat Prayers
5. Metatron & Sandalphon
and now some more
5. What is known as the Arch Angels (originally 5 and now 4 as Satan is whom we call Sammael and was an original Arch Angel)
6. Many many different categories of angels below this....
Now each category has its own traits. Each one has its own powers. Each also looks differerntly. As you can see this can very complicated and very long.
To correct this the period is 11 months. Thus one says Kadish for one's parents only for 11 months and not the full 12 which is the year of mourning for a parent. The Aliyaha Neshamah takes place at the END of period of Kaddish. The Kaddish and why it is said for the dead is a very interesting choice. I will try and explain some things.smiley10000 said:There is a concept of Hell although it is rather different than the Christian one. I think (Teddy you may be able to confirm) that most sources say the max period a neshama can stay in Gehennom is nine months. It is a cleansing process to prepare the soul for Heaven. Heaven does have levels, so to speak, the reason a person says Kaddish for a year after a family member dies is for Aliyah Neshama (A raising of the Soul).
(Actually it is 12 months - but only for a truly evil person. Since one never assumes that one's parents are evil it is only said for 11 months for them for you assume your parents are not evil. Interestingly enough, one time I saw someone saying Kaddish for his parents during the 12th month. I assumed this was due to his ignroance of the law. So after synagogue I pointed this out to the person in private. He said with a smile, "I am well aware that Kaddish must only be said for 11 months but this case is different" So I let the matter drop. Much later on, I found out the reason for that full 12 months, and I must say that I had to agree - and also found out which Rabbi had given him the answer to say Kaddish for 12 months, which was also interesting.)
First off if you look at a Kaddish (English trans.) you will NOT find one word in there about the dead. The whole Kaddish is glorification of God's name. It does not mention the dead nor does it speak in any way about them. Thus one should ask oneself why this prayer specifically is being used to "remember" the dead and why it is recited during mourning.
Second, the kadish is not in Hebrew. it is Aramaic. The talmud tells us that the reason it is Aramaic, is because the angels themselves do not understand one langauge...Aramaic. And thus the Kaddish goes straight from the person reciting it to the throne of God without any angelic intercession. Thus it is actually in esoteric terms a prayer that we recite which rests at the throne of God and comes directly from the person reciting it. For the person himself gives praise to God even in times of mourning. In a way it can be looked at as a fulfillment of the mishnah which states "as one blesses God for the Good so must one bless God for the evil" (Tractate Berachot)
Since your original questions were not on this matter I will let this rest here.