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The midrash at B'reshis Rabba 3:7 states that G-d created a number of worlds and destroyed them before the creation of our world. Is the Midrash implying that the earlier worlds included sentient beings with free will who had to be destroyed because they defied G-d? How else can the Midrash be explained?

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Rabbi Akiva Tatz has a speech about this in which he explains the concept in depth. His speech can be found at http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/the974generations-of-souls/

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Matis. This answer would be much improved if you would edit in a summary of the speech.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 12:46
  • Someone should really answer this question.
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 23:58

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