1. The gemara in Taanis 21a brings a story about Nachum Ish Gamzu that explains why he was called "Ish Gamzu", because he would always say "Gam Zu L'tovah" (This too is for the best).
  2. It is also known that Rabbi Akiva would always say ״כׇּל דְּעָבֵיד רַחֲמָנָא לְטָב עָבֵיד״ (Everything that God does, He does for the best) from the Gemara in Berachos 60b.

My question: We know that Rabbi Akiva was the student of Nachum Ish Gamzu, so why didn't he use the same phrase that his rebbi would use?

  • What's the source that he was a student? Anyhow -- Nachum was on a higher level, could say "this event is for good"; R Akiva could only reason in the abstract that "everything must work out." Hence Nachum wound up with ammo that was better than where he started, whereas R. Akiva simply wasn't harmed by the bandits.
    – Shalom
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 1:26
  • 1
    Because R Akiva wasn't from Gimzo
    – Double AA
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 1:30
  • What @Shalom writes is explained in the sefer Shomer Emunim. Also we know he was his student but I forgot the source.
    – robev
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 1:44
  • @Shalom in this website (jewishhistory.org/rabbi-akiva-2) it says Rabbi Akiva was a student of Nachum Ish Gamzu.
    – Dani
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 3:33
  • I heard from rabbi simcha scholar there was a difference. That by Rabbi Akiva he said the current situation is for the best. While Nachum said the actual thing that looks bad is for good. The bad is really good. By Rabbi Akiva it was just what happened is for the eventual good.
    – Shlomy
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Uri Sherqi once explained in a shiur that these sayings are essentially equivalent. Nahum Ish Gamzu said “this too will be for the best” (the ל denoting future tense as in ״לשם מה״ - towards what end). Rabbi `Aqiva said “all... He does will (ultimately) be for the best”.

With that understanding, the premise of your question is not well-founded.

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