Famous story in gemara Taanit about R Elazar ben Pedat who complained to Hashem about being poor in a vision/dream, and Hashem said:

אלעזר בני, ניחא לך דאפכיה לעלמא מרישא, אפשר דמתילדת בשעתא דמזוני

Elazar, My son, is it more convenient for you that I return the world to its very beginning? Perhaps you will be born in an hour of sustenance and not be poor. [Steinsaltz trans. and commentary]

My question is, why to the very beginning? Why not restart just the last 100-1000 years etc? Shouldn't that be enough to "reroll" his circumstances to get another shot at wealth? If not, why not? Is there a lesson in this?

Note, this seems to be a theme. See this answer. Hashem threatens to reset the whole world.

  • Perhaps God can't/won't reset it a time that was made by life's free will. God might need to start the clock from before there's life and just see if Elasar gets lucky this time around
    – Aaron
    Apr 2 at 14:11
  • Haven't you heard of the butterfly effect? Apr 2 at 17:59

2 Answers 2


My wife's answer.

Everyone can say "the whole world was created for me". Therefore, someone's life, and the world, are a zivug. In order to adjust someone's life, Hashem would need a new world.

  • If you are chasing the green tick, don't be put off, I am sure I can convince my wife to let me accept another answer if it's a good one :)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 2 at 10:43
  • 1
    I’m inclined towards your wife’s answer, although I might express it differently. Apr 2 at 10:53

I once learnt a mashal regarding the topic of when Rabbi Akiva was killed and the Malachim complained to Hashem and He silenced them [topic source], though I don’t remember the source for the mashal.

There was a king that commissioned a tailor to make a garment for him and gave a certain amount of gold to be woven into it. A few days later the tailor returns with the garment in hand and after looking at it the king claims that less gold was used in the garment. The tailor claimed otherwise and after much back and forth he offered to show the king, he took the garment apart revealing every bit of gold down to the last strand. He was proven correct but there was no garment left.

So too there Hashem offers to show them but practically speaking He would have to take apart the world. I would assume similar can be applied here, where to change something in the way the world works there would essentially need to be a new world.


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