After Abraham circumcised himself and was under pain, the Holy One Blessed be He, sent him three angels; Michael to deliver the message to Sarah that she will have a child in a year. Raphael came to heal Abraham and save Lot from Sodom. Gabriel came to destroy Sodom. They appeared to Abraham in a physical form.
The Zohar says that angels don’t have a physical form and asks how could Abraham see them? The answer comes from Psalms 104:4
“עֹשֶׂה מַלְאָכָיו רוּחוֹת מְשָׁרְתָיו אֵשׁ לֹהֵט.”
“He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.”
When the angels came down to the world to visit Abraham, they got dressed with the four elements of Creation that are Fire, Air, Water and earth. With their holy spirit, they could look exactly like humans.
When Abraham saw them, he ignored his pain and came out immediately to welcome them as he usually does with all guests. Regardless of the pain, he didn’t want to miss an opportunity to welcome guests into his tent.
“וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנָי אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אַל נָא תַעֲבֹר מֵעַל עַבְדֶּךָ.”
“and said, “My lord (אֲדֹנָי ADNY), if now I have found favour in your sight, please do not pass your servant by.”
Rabbi Shimon says that Abraham recognized them as angels in human forms. We see that when he approached them with the word ‘אֲדֹנָי’ ‘My Lord’ that is the name that represents the Shechina. The three angels have the colors of white, red and green. They support the connection of the Shechina to Malchut.
After Abraham was circumcised he could see that they were angels. Before the circumcision, he would have seen them only as regular humans. It was clear to him when they ask for Sarah and announced that she will have a child.
Angels can appear in many forms of this world, including humans. Our spiritual level is what allows us to see the truth behind the corporeal presentation. As students of the Zohar, we see a lot more than people that are far from this study.
The sages tell us that if we ‘upgrade’ our soul and do additional positive things then we should continue doing them. Even if there’s no spiritual law that forces you to do it, we lose light when we miss doing it.
For example; If you study every day for a while or visit elderly home every week to entertain the elders, and you had to get a second job that ‘eats’ your available time, then you should do ‘Hatarat Nedarim’ ‘Nullification of vows’ to release yourself/your vessel from the obligation.
The explanation is simple. When we do positive things we expand our vessels and receive light for it. If we stop or reduce the actions, we shrink our vessels and lose light.
If one misses his regular positive action, I suggest giving a small Tzedakah to compensate for what was missed.
Abraham as the chariot of Chessed, dedicated himself to serve others, unconditionally. He was highly spiritual and recognized the value of continuing his hospitality ‘services’. A temporary pain was not an obstacle for him to jump and keep doing what he was always doing.