Is it mentioned in the Talmud that Moses time traveled into the distant future?


1 Answer 1


Masechet Menachos 29b states that Moshe Rabeinu was allowed to sit in the bais medrash of Rabbi Akivah, but could not follow the learning there.

They told that when Moses went above to receive the Torah, he found the Holy One, blessed be He, sitting and attaching crowns to the letters. (Of course, G‑d doesn’t sit, neither does He need to use cut and paste when composing the Torah. Once you get used to the style of the Talmud, you learn to take these things figuratively. But without them, the story is very dry.)

Apparently, Moses didn’t see any need for these crowns. He asked, “Master of the Universe! Who forces You to go to such extremes?”

G‑d answered, “There is a man who will live many generations after you and his name is Akiva, son of Yosef. He will examine every single spike of every letter and draw from them piles upon piles of halachot.”

So Moses asked, “Master of the Universe! Show him to me!”

G‑d replied, “Step backwards.”

And Moses stepped back until he found himself standing in the 18th row of Rabbi Akiva’s class. You see, the students were arranged in this class by order of their understanding. It seems the only thing left after the eighteenth row was out in the hallway.

So Moses stood there and listened—and was unable to follow a thing that was said. He became weak with despair. Until finally, the story tells, a ruling came up for which Rabbi Akiva could provide no source. A student asked of Rabbi Akiva, “Where do you learn this from?”

Rabbi Akiva responded, “This is an oral tradition passed down from Moses.”

By those words, Moses was set at ease.

  • Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Menahot, page 29B

At the end of this Moshe Rabbeinu asks why the torah was not given through him and what his fate would be (Rabbi Akivah was martyred). The answer to both questions is

God replied, "Silence! That is my decision."'

  • "G-d replied 'Shut up, Moshe. I do what I want.'" :P
    – ezra
    Sep 4, 2017 at 15:59

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