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RECORDING ANGEL:

The angel that, in popular belief, records the deeds of all individuals for future reward or punishment. The keeping of a general account between man and his Maker is represented by Akiba thus: "Man buys in an open shop where the dealer gives credit; the ledger is open, and the hand writes" (Abot iii. 20). Citing, "He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work" (Job xxxvii. 7), R. Shila said, "Two attending angels follow man as witnesses, and when a man dies all his deeds are enumerated, with place and date of occurrence, and the man himself indorses the statement" (Ta'an. 11a). Again, citing Mal. iii. 16 ("and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord"), R.Shila said, "Whenever two discuss the Law their words are recorded above" (Ber. 6a).

All prayers are recorded in heaven by the angels (See Prayer). The principal recording angel appears to be Gabriel, "the man clothed with linen," whom God ordered to place a sign upon the foreheads of the men in Jerusalem who were to be spared (Ezek. ix. 4; see Shab. 55a). The entry in the royal annals recording the meritorious act of Mordecai in saving the life of Ahasuerus was said to have been erased by the royal secretary Shimshai, an enemy of the Jews, and to have been restored by Gabriel, the champion of Israel, which incident brought about the fall of Haman and the victory of the Jews (Meg. 16a; Rashi ad loc.). See Elijah; Enoch; Eschatology.

K. J. D. E.
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