There is a significant difference, where one means: my fire is of god's and the other means: my light is of god's.

Since the spelling is the same in Hebrew, it is not apparent from some sources what the correct pronunciation is. I have looked a bit and found the word with different vowel for the two ways of reading it, so my question, which is the one mentioned as "the angel who goes before me".

  • This is interesting because I've heard even knowledgeable Jews pronounce this name (for people) very differently, and defend their different pronunciations. I've heard oor-EE-ul, OO-ree-ul, and oo-ree-E'L from non-am haaratzim frum ashkenazim – SAH Jul 21 '17 at 17:33
  • I have now heard a total of five different pronunciations of this name by knowledgeable people with (presumably) the same nusach. – SAH Sep 12 '17 at 4:56

In Tanach the name only appears as Uriel, such as in Divrei HaYomim1 6:9 אוּרִיאֵל בְּנוֹ, and Divrei Hayomim1 15:5 אוּרִיאֵל הַשָּׂר, and Divrei Hayomim1 15:11 לְאוּרִיאֵל, and Divrei HaYomim2 13:2 בַת-אוּרִיאֵל. The Malach is also pronounced as Uriel per Koren and Artscroll Sidurim by Kriyas Shema that is said before going to sleep.

I have found that Sidur Bais Yaakov (Rabbi Yaakov Emden) says Oriel by Tefilas HaDerech and by Kriyas Shema.

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  • Thank you, but you have not answered the question, I know that uriel is mentioned in the tanch, but that does not help us understand who the angel is that we refer to as he who goes before us. There are many siders who have oriel for Tefilas HaDerech and Kriyas Shema – Yaakov Pinsky Feb 19 '13 at 16:45
  • The answer is that it is unclear whether the name is Urial or Oriel as there are sources showing one way and other sources showing another way. – Gershon Gold Feb 19 '13 at 16:54
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    I'm sorry but that is by definition not an answer. As I specifically stated in the question, it is unclear which is correct from the sources and therefor I would like a source that discusses this issue, not a restatement of what I have already asked. Thanks anyway for the sources. – Yaakov Pinsky Feb 20 '13 at 9:13

It's Oriel. Rabbi Ohr Samayach says:

Our Sages say there are four angels who allegorically accompany man and protect him. Michael on his right, Gabriel on his left, Oriel in front of him, and Rafael from behind. The idea is that there are four "fields" in which one needs continuous help, and man receives this help via certain channels by which G-d conducts the occurrences in this world.

Michael, "Mi Cael - who is like the merciful G-d?" is the representative of the attribute of mercy. Gabriel - "my strength is G-d"- represents the attribute of power and judgment; they are therefore on the right and left respectively. Oriel - "my light is G-d," represents the attribute of knowledge by which man wishes to know what lies ahead and how to act accordingly; thus, Oriel "stands before" a man to show him the way. Rafael - "my healer is G-d" - is the attribute by which G-d heals any ill which befalls a man; that is why he "stands behind" man.

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    Rabbi Ohr Somayach is the definitive tie-breaker between TaNa"Ch and the Siddurim? – Seth J Oct 10 '13 at 11:44
  • @SethJ Tanach never refers to that angel. – Double AA Oct 10 '13 at 16:48
  • @DoubleAA, fair enough. But it does use the name. – Seth J Oct 10 '13 at 18:00

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