There are times where there is a hava amina (automatic assumption) that Hashem changed His mind, and the standard commentary is "obviously, Hashem didn't really change His mind, it is to teach us that [insert lesson for us mortals here]".

I do note, that we have heavy-weight opinions (even if not widely read or accepted in the classrooms nowadays) that explain that when it comes to our free will, Hashem, so to speak, doesn't know what we will choose without looking to see us make the choice (even if He can do this in an atemporal manner). Some of these opinions are collected here in this excellent answer by Alex.

My question is simple- do any of these or similarly-founded opinions explain that Hashem really did "change His mind", because our free will was at play?

E.g. maybe Hashem really was planning to make the world out of justice, but when He saw our free will choices, He saw that it wouldn't work, and changed to a world of mercy. Maybe Hashem really did intend Adam to be alone, but then saw Adam's free will as a barrier to that, and gave Him a companion.

Here's a possible example. Rav Hoffman says pretty clearly that Hashem made Adam, and then realised that Adam wasn't going to do it the way Hashem hoped, so to speak, so Hashem had a "backup option".

  • How can you say "but then He saw"? Hashem has perfect knowledge irrespective of time, so He can't make mistakes and then correct them! Mar 21 at 12:07
  • @MosesSupposes I am using temporal language to describe an atemporal situation, but I am being true to the sources I quoted and questioned
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 21 at 12:19
  • I don't understand what that even means - how can we accept the idea that Hashem doesn't have perfect knowledge at any point in time? I'm not sure whether even saying "Hashem made a decision" is problematic Mar 21 at 20:05
  • @MosesSupposes You accept it because that's the impression scripture repeatedly gives
    – Aaron
    Mar 21 at 20:27
  • I don't know if I should make a full out answer, but I have yet to be convinced that God sees all time, and that God doesn't make mistakes or regret His decisions. When I read commentaries defending the omniscience of God, or God knowing all things, they usually have this opinion because they have other similar opinions that require them believing that God is omnipotent or omniscient. But if you aren't trying to protect some other belief, I find a hard time finding scriptural evidence that God knows our actions before we act, or that God knows all, etc etc
    – Aaron
    Mar 21 at 20:31


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