In my work,1 I may be on the way to a breakthrough in time travel technology. With this technology I will be able to prevent the covid pandemic. The only issue is, there is a doubt as to whether I myself will die I.e. disappear from the timeline through this very breakthrough. Am I still required to persist with this vital work, or does my existence come first?

I am aware that the Talmud discusses this, but it only speaks of life not existence:

Bava Metziah 62a:

עד שבא ר' עקיבא ולימד וחי אחיך עמך חייך קודמים לחיי חבירך

Rebbi Akiva taught: ‘Your brother shall live with you’ (Lev. 25:36) means your life comes before your fellow’s.

1. I do no such work

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

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    For those who saw the other question, there are two timelines
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Feb 14, 2021 at 18:50
  • Awww at the footnote. I thought the "Dr." stood for "Time Doctor" or something...
    – Harel13
    Feb 14, 2021 at 19:11
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    Covid? Go kill Hitler... when you come back, let us know how it worked out :) Feb 14, 2021 at 21:31
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    I'm going to have to bring your question to the Vaad of the Chrononauts Agency at their next meeting. Two meetings ago. In timeline 2021-C. Bloody timey-wimey ball! Feb 16, 2021 at 16:06
  • @DavidKenner: That never works. There are so many time travelers, from so many agencies and guilds, that we keep getting in each others' way. Hence the Hitler Time Travel Exemption Act (warning! TV Tropes!). Feb 16, 2021 at 16:10

6 Answers 6


Lmaaseh, you should just go forward in time and see if Covid still exists. If there is no covid, then we can assume that you don't have to do anything, or at least, if you did have to do something, you have already done it, or maybe you will do it because you haven't done anything yet, and we can assume the parallel universe theory, because it says "Mishenichnas adar Marbim B'simcha', present tense, meaning that it is always adar somewhere, confirming that there are multiple universes.


"Only Hashem can be in the past and in the future at the same time" (Dr. Middos). So a time machine is impossible anyway, and the only One who can stop Covid is Hashem. We recognize that when we say in davening, הבו לה' כבוד, "Ascribe Covid to Hashem."


Don't worry. As it says in Kiddushin 39b:

"...שלוחי מצוה אינן נזוקין לא בהליכתן ולא בחזירתן

those on the path to perform a mitzva are not susceptible to harm, neither when they are on their way to perform the mitzva nor when they are returning from performing the mitzva..."

  • @Alex אין מקשין על הוורט...
    – Harel13
    Feb 14, 2021 at 19:30
  • Shkiach hezeika shani
    – Shlomy
    Feb 15, 2021 at 0:10
  • @Shlomy Just because many fiction writers lack any understanding of how the time-stream works, doesn't mean that it's shchiach hezeika.
    – Harel13
    Feb 15, 2021 at 7:09

This is a mefuresh The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

In which one of the children goes over to the Witch's side (in return for a Turkish Delight). The Lion then saves the child by volunteering to be sacrificed by the Witch's hordes (this is a tenai in maaseh bereishis, that one who was treacherous may be saved by self-sacrifice).

The children come to mourn the Lion in the morning and find the Lion alive. This is because there is another tenai which pre-dates even maaseh bereishis that one who sacrifices themselves for one who was treacherous will be brought back to life.

Hence in your case you would be re-existed after saving the universe, and you will be able to enjoy your haman taschen in peace.

Amen, selah.



I think the gemara there should be translated differently, which may resolve the issue

עד שבא ר' עקיבא ולימד וחי אחיך עמך חייך קודמים לחיי חבירך

"A witness, at the age of 7, was rabbi akeiva {implying he time traveled to an earlier stage in his life to say this}, and he learned while crying {"vechee", in general, because of the pain affects the anti aging process had on him}, "I shall laugh!" {"Aw-chayeech", meaning even amongst the crying from the pain of the time traveling to an earlier age, he still said that in the future, he will laugh, implying he already knows what's going to happen}, the nation of your life {"awmchuh chayecha"} precedes {us all, in general, meaning the source of the laughter about the future time travel is already rooted in the past , when the nation of our life was formed, at mount sinai, which is beyond time so it's "koydem", in the sense of being "beyond" time in general, and therefore he's alluding to the fact that through the Torah, which on general is rayshees, koydem, before creation, which became manifested in. }


I think you're fine. There's a story you should read; it's called Rip Van Winkle. If you want the Jewish version of that, it's called Honi Hamaagel. In the story, to cut it short as to save time, Hamaagel saw a man planting a carob tree. Hamaagel fell asleep. When he awoke he found another man plucking carobs from a tree. In short, time travel is maybe possible and does not violate Jewish law. If traveling forward is kosher then I assume as much for traveling backward.

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    It seems that the question here is not "Is time travel permissible?" but "Are you obligated to risk your life via time travel in order to save people?".
    – Alex
    Feb 14, 2021 at 19:30

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