We all talk about the idea that God has an ultimate plan and that we are all existing within that plan.

That said, humans have free will as we are judged by our actions due to this free will.

My question is "are all people made this way or are some people exceptions?"

I'm asking if there are certain humans who exist who aren't truly free individuals and are actually tools from God to push us down a specific path? Does a category for this kind of person exist in Judaism or is it not an accepted idea?

A simple example is Pharoah in Egypt during Exodus. We are taught that God hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would not relent and allow the Hebrews to be freed. Instead, it implies God gave Pharoah resistance which resulted in all of the plagues coming to fruition.

One can argue that this event was a necessity as this story serves as the focal point of the Jewish story and inspired the faith of various nations and peoples derivative of that.

My question is simple. Is it possible some humans are specific to the "plan" and as such are not judged in the same fashion as other humans? They're instead to be thought of in the same way an angel might, simply a drone doing something it was programmed to do rather than being a true individual like other humans?

  • Maybe they are an angel not a human? (How do you define human)
    – Double AA
    Dec 6, 2023 at 18:53
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    Rabbi Dessler discusses this. He says for example that Moshe's bechirah was taken away from him after he became the sirsur for Matan Torah.
    – The GRAPKE
    Dec 6, 2023 at 18:59
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    Sforno et all claim that the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was to ensure his free will, so have you got any other examples?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 6, 2023 at 19:27
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    @RabbiKaii Well, the Rambam certainly says Michael's idea.
    – MichoelR
    Dec 6, 2023 at 19:49
  • @MichoelR - Interesting discussion about Pharoah, that argues on the Rambam based on the Akeidas Yitzchok here - torahmusings.com/2019/04/hashem-does-not-withdraw-freewill
    – Dov
    Dec 6, 2023 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Nachman of Breslev said: The other rebbies they take your free will but by me you have free will.

To answer your question, don't all the souls have a root soul? If so, it seems the root souls would have more to do with The Plan than the dross souls and sorry but I'm using the language of that literature that discusses the anatomy of souls so don't throw a hissy.

You can find more details regarding your question in a work like Avodat haKodesch by ibn Gabbai. It's encyclopedic.

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    What does "The other rebbies they take your free will" mean ?
    – mbloch
    Dec 7, 2023 at 3:59
  • @mbloch One group for example, everything they do is by order of their Rebbe, for better or worse. They're robot like. Dec 7, 2023 at 4:02
  • Just the opposite, Rabbi Nachman encouraged individual Hitboddedut, to talk to God yourself and make your own choices, and that that's where the ikkar of the Avoda is, in places you have free choice and nothing decrees you must do this or that. Dec 7, 2023 at 4:03
  • Hmmm. Interesting. I have never met such Jews but if you say so.
    – mbloch
    Dec 7, 2023 at 4:03
  • This is a central point in Lubavitcher chassidus as well. Not to rely on the Rebbe but to invest your own energies into avoda. Not very relevant to the question though.
    – shmosel
    Dec 7, 2023 at 7:10

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