93. Come and behold, after Abraham had circumcised himself, he sat down and was in pain. The Holy One, blessed be He, sent him three visible angels to inquire of his well-being. You may wonder how they were visible, for who is able to see angels, as it is written, "Who makes his angels spirits (also, 'winds')" (Tehilim 104:4).
94. AND HE REPLIES, He certainly did see them because they came to earth in the image of men. And it should not be hard for you to understand because they are definitely holy spirits. But when they come down to this world, they enclothe themselves with the air and the elements of covering and enveloping, until they appear to people exactly in their image.
95. Come and behold, Abraham saw them in the image of men. And even though he was in pain because of the circumcision, he ran forth to greet them, so that he would not miss anything and would not behave differently than before his circumcision, WHEN HE ALWAYS ACCEPTED AND WELCOMED NEW GUESTS.
96. Rabbi Shimon said, He definitely did see them in the form of angels. THIS CAN BE UNDERSTOOD from the words, "And he said...my lords (Heb. adonai)" with the letters Aleph and Dalet. THESE LETTERS, WHICH FORM THE NAME OF THE SHECHINAH, ARE THE FIRST TWO LETTERS OF THE NAME ADONAI. For it was the Shechinah that was approaching, and these angels were Her supports and throne. They are the three colors - WHITE, RED, AND GREEN - that are under THE SHECHINAH.
97. And he saw THAT THEY WERE ANGELS because, after he was circumcised, he was able to see what he did not see before he was circumcised. At first, he thought they were human beings. Later, he realized that they were angels on a mission FROM THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. THEY FULFILLED THIS MISSION when they said to him, "Where is Sarah, your wife" (Beresheet 18:9), and informed him about Isaac.
98. In the word, "Elav ('to him')," WHICH APPEARS IN THE VERSE "AND THEY SAID TO HIM," the letters with vowels are Aleph, Yud, and Vav. And this sign, ayo, alludes to what is above, implying the Holy One, blessed be He. AND THEY ASKED ABOUT HIM, AYO (LIT. 'WHERE IS HE')? And he replies, "Behold, in the tent." THIS MEANS THAT HE WAS ATTACHED TO THE SHECHINAH, BECAUSE here it is written, "in the tent," and there it is written, "a tabernacle (tent) that shall not be taken down..." (Yeshayah 33:20). THUS, IT REFERS TO THE SHECHINAH, JUST AS IN THE LATTER VERSE. Come and behold, Because ayo has vowels already, why is it then written, ayeh (lit. 'where')? AND HE REPLIES, Because the secret of the Faith is the union of the male and female as one. THIS IS WHY THEY ASKED OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, "WHERE IS HE (AYO)?" AND THEY ASKED OF THE SHECHINAH, "WHERE IS SHE (AYEH)?" THIS MEANS THAT THEY AROUSED HIM TO FORM A UNION OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WITH HIS SHECHINAH. The verse continues, "And he said, Behold, in the tent," because therein lies the bond of everything - NAMELY THE NUKVA WHO IS CALLED "THE TENT" AND THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
99. Of the question, "Where is she?" HE ASKS, Did the celestial angels not know that Sarah was in the tent? If so, why then is it written THAT THEY ASKED ABOUT HER SAYING, "Ayeh ('where?')?" AND HE REPLIES, THE ANGELS have no knowledge of this world, except what is given them to know. Come and behold, "For I will pass through the land of Egypt...I am Hashem" (Shemot 12:12). AND HE ASKS, The Holy One, blessed be He, has so many messengers and angels. WHY DID HE HAVE TO "PASS THROUGH THE LAND OF EGYPT" BY HIMSELF? AND HE REPLIES, Because THE ANGELS do not know how to distinguish between the sperm of a firstborn and that which is not. Only the Holy One, blessed be He, alone knows this.
100. This is similar to the text, "and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men..." (Yechezkel 9:4). Why do THE ANGELS need THIS MARK? Because THE ANGELS know only what they are told. For example, how do they know all that the Holy One, blessed be He, plans on doing in the world? They know because the Holy One, blessed be He, sends announcements throughout the heavens, informing them of what He is about to perform in the world. THE ANGELS HEAR THESE ANNOUNCEMENTS AND KNOW!
101. In the same way, when the Angel of Destruction roams the world, people should hide at home and not be seen at the marketplace. This will prevent the Angel of Destruction from destroying and hurting them. As it is written, "And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning" (Shemot 12:22), because from them - FROM THE ANGELS - we can and should hide. But there is no need to hide from the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Says Hashem" (Yirmeyah 23:24).
102. "Where is Sarah, your wife?" HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY ASKED ABOUT HER. WHEN THEY HEARD SHE WAS IN THE TENT, THEY DID NOT ENTER IT TO INFORM HER. INSTEAD, THEY REMAINED OUTSIDE WHILE THEY INFORMED ABRAHAM. AND HE ANSWERS, They did not want to announce THE GOOD NEWS in front of her. So immediately after he said, "Behold, in the tent," it is then written, "He said, I will return and definitely come back to you at this time next year, and, lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son" (Beresheet 18:10). Come and behold, it was very polite and proper that they said nothing to Abraham before he invited them to eat. This way, it did not seem that he invited them to eat because of the good news they brought him. Therefore, only after the verse stated "and they ate," did they inform him about the good news.