One time, Rabbi Shim’on bar Yo’chai (second century) noticed that the earth had darkened and become filled with gloominess.
He turned to his son Rabbi El’azar and said: “Come and let us see what God has in store for the world.”
They went, and came upon an angel the size of a great mountain, with three flaming torches emanating from its mouth.
Rabbi Shim’on said to it: “What have you come to do to the world?”
Replied the angel: “I have come to destroy the world.”
Rabbi Shim’on said: “I conjure you to go to God and tell God that the son of Yo’chai is still on the earth.”
The angel went to God and repeated the words of Rabbi Shim’on. God said to the angel: “Go back and destroy the world, and pay no attention to the son of Yo’chai.”
When the angel returned, Rabbi Shim’on approached once more and admonished the spirit: “If you will not go away, I will utter an incantation upon you that will prevent you from ever again returning to the heavens! And you will end up like the fallen angels Aza and Aza’el. Therefore, return and tell God that if the world is destined for destruction because there is no majority of good people here, there is myself and my son. And even if only I alone am worthy, is it not written: `And the righteous person is the foundation of the world’ (Proverbs 10:25)?”
In that instant, a voice emanated from the Heavens and declared: “How worthy is your portion, Rabbi Shim’on, in that God decrees above and you abolish the decree below?”
——- Tikkunei Ha’Zohar, folios 255a-b