The Evolving Tradition of MALACHIM Jewish Angel Cards
the Hebrew word for messengers or angels. Each of the
40 MALACHIM Jewish Angel Cards has an artistic image and a blessing word in
English, Hebrew, and transliteration on one side. They are 1x3 inches big,
making it easy to hold the set or an individual card in your hand.
The tradition of MALACHIM began in a circle of friends in Jerusalem
in the late 1980s. We sang the beloved song Shalom Aleichem to honor
the beginning of Shabbat (the Sabbath), noting that the words of the
song welcome the "messengers/angels of peace," which are said
to frequent the homes of those who celebrate Shabbat (Talmud, Tractate
Shabbat, page 119a). I created a set of MALACHIM, messages, to accompany
Ways to enjoy MALACHIM Jewish Angel Cards
As with all good folk traditions, uses and understandings change over
time. People use the MALACHIM for Shabbat, holidays, Rosh Hodesh (New
Moon Celebrations), birthdays, personal reflection and meditation, and
to deepen their knowledge of Judaism and Hebrew. Here are some ways that
you might want to use them:
You can lay the MALACHIM face down, take a moment
for personal reflection, or Kavannah (intention), and then
randomly select a message. The malach/message might affirm, remind,
or inspire you – or maybe it sparks a new understanding.
There is a tradition that we are given a neshama
yetara (extra soul) on Shabbat so some people pick
two at the beginning of Shabbat, after singing Shalom Aleichem.
You can pick from the MALACHIM during Havdallah,
the ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat, to find
a focus as you begin your new week.
Sometimes, in groups, people share how the
message affirms, nudges, reminds, or inspires them (or doesn't).
Sometimes people keep it to themselves.
You can use the MALACHIM in families, in community,
in solitude. Enjoy!
MALACHIM Jewish Angel Cards were created by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner.
creating them, she drew from her academic knowledge of Judaism (MA in
Studies from Brandeis University) as well as over two decades of work
Jewish ritual innovation and Jewish Education (directing synagogue education
programs, teaching Jewish Studies to adults and youth of all ages).