Q & A / Time and Space

Q & A: “Time Travel and Parallel Universes”

B”H
Time Travel – Parallel Universes: These two topics seem to attract thousands of people.
Who wouldn’t like to travel back in time and see how people used to live? We humans are extremely curious and there are times when we just want to escape our lives in the present. See and experience something else and just not bother with our ordinary daily reality. I can imagine that a lot of scientists and other people continue to find a way to make time travel possible. 
One of my blog readers asked whether we could use the Kabbalah for time travel. Maybe there is a kabbalistic formula or secret for time travel.
I have to say that the Jewish Kabbalah teaches us the secrets of the Torah. It is all about the Torah and not about how we solve our personal problems or how we travel to different time periods. 🙂
G-d placed us into this world at this time. This is where we find our task. We were born into this century because it is here where we have something to do. A task to fulfill. If this wasn’t the case, G-d would have placed us into a different time. 
Of course, it sounds very tempting to travel back in time. By the way, not too many people would actually travel into the future. The reason could be that we are too afraid to see what life is about in the future. By traveling back in time, at least we know what to expect. 🙂
We cannot re-write history. What would we gain from time travel? See how others lived? I very much think that these people had the same problems that we are facing today. They were worried about paying bills and taxes. They had to earn a living in order to buy food. And think about all the illnesses when there was hardly any medication around (e.g. Antibiotics, vaccinations, etc.). Or just think about going to the dentist in the ancient days. 🙂
Instead of concentrating on traveling back in time we should put all our energy into coping with the present.

 

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9 thoughts on “Q & A: “Time Travel and Parallel Universes”

  1. The following is my limited conjecture while agreeing that one should focus on the present, the main point is merely to get some insight into how Hashem operates this universe.

    A distinction has to be made between Parallel Universes and Alternate Timelines, the former allows for the possibility of life going in a radically differently direction (or not existing at all) while the latter allows for a familiar theme yet almost infinite possibilities within one linear universe based on individual as well as collective (or national) choices.

    It is the latter that my focus will be on within the context of Jewish thought that significantly differs from Time Travel or rewriting history (which was not my intention to give such an impression), rather it is simply to give us mortal humans a small glimpse in how Hashem operates this vast Universe (and that is even without bringing Gilgulim in the equation).

    Like a book this Universe has a beginning (Creation), middle (giving of the Torah) and ending (Geulah) authored by Hashem himself, the rest in-between depends on us based on our own choices / free-will with the possible exception of World Leaders (since some believe they are pawns of Hashem). The examples I give so far are as follows:

    1) Adam and Eve passing the test of not eating from the Tree of Knowledge
    2) King David originally destined not to be born until Adam gave him 70 years of his own life
    3) Hashem offering the Torah to other nations who rejected it for one reason or another, later when Israel accepted the Torah it was said that the world was created for their sake.
    4) Esav originally being destined to marry Leah (who prayed against such an outcome and instead married Yaakov) as well as later Dinah (who Yaakov hid from Esav and was later punished)
    5) Moshe meriting to enter the Land of Israel (along with refusing to bring the Erev Rav out of Egypt)
    6) The nation of Israel being reborn from the Seed of Moshe after the sin of the Golden Calf
    7) King Hezekiah meriting to become Moshiach
    8) It is also written in the Book of Esther that salvation would come from elsewhere had Esther chosen not to fulfill her role
    9) Jewish Rebels uniting around one leader during the Jewish-Roman Wars
    10) Not to mention the potential for Geulah ranging from the years 4000 to 6000 based on the Jewish people’s merit via the “Hastened” and “In Its Time” Geulah scenarios.

    On an individual level while a person has their own strengths, weaknesses and peculiar inclinations for both good and bad. There is a near infinite spectrum of how one can live their life from at their most righteous to their most wicked and everything in between, albeit of course dependent one whether a person accomplishes their task / rectification or not.

    On a national level regarding the Jewish people it is entirely possible that as a people our current exile could have been much better or much worse depending on our merits (indeed the prophecies from the Nevi’im appear to suggest as such), regarding the rest of the nations it was their choice to oppress the Jewish people more than necessary and be punished as a result instead of being rewarded for doing the absolute bare minimum.

  2. B”H

    I am not sure whether I got everything right but let us start:

    Not everything stated in the Nevi’im has been fulfilled yet. I am not only talking about Meshiach but about other predictions the Prophets made.

    There is a famous incident mentioned in the Torah itself: When the Egyptians were facing one of the 10 Plagues (hail): G-d ended the Plague and the hail apparently stopped somewhere in the middle of the sky. It doesn’t say that it disappeared but that it stopped instantly. There are opinions stating that this hail will destroy the enemies of the Jewish people and thus is still somewhere in the sky.

    Scientists always make a claim from time to time that either time travel or parallel universes may be reached by traveling through a black hole. But who wants to do so, as a black hole, as far as we know, will be deadly. No one has ever made it through and it looks as if nobody will ever do so.

    However, time travel and parallel universes are nothing but speculation. We humans have a great imagination and who wouldn’t like to get a glimpse of the past. Just imagine that you were standing in front of Noach, Avraham, Adam HaRishon or experience the Exodus.

    What I keep on saying is that there are also miracles and all kinds of beautiful things in our world. We just have to open our eyes and see them. Even though I would love to taste the Man (Manna). 🙂 Probably food without any calories!!!!

  3. Agree with you that many prophecies in Nevi’im have yet to be fulfilled.

    Again am not talking about time travel and parallel universes my last comment is more about a omniscient heavenly perspective beyond (space and all the potential timelines of) our own universe.

    Personally would not want to travel back in time, however while it cannot be denied that Hashem has place the world on a path towards Geulah it also cannot be denied from the 10 examples above suggest other possibilities.

    It is said when we are in the Heavenly court that one of the questions asked is why a person never lived up to their potential / accomplished their particular task, which suggests a spectrum of free-will / choice as it were where Hashem sees all possible outcomes (timelines) of what an individual’s capable of accomplishing as well as the opposite during their lifetime here on Earth.

  4. B”H

    There are times when I am seriously asking myself “how far our free will” goes and whether we do have free will. Of course, men can act in different ways because they make choices. However, sometimes I doubt that there is so much of a free will left.

    The world could look different if Adam and Eve had passed the test or if the Jews in the desert hadn’t built a Golden Calf. Nevertheless, this is our reality today and we have to cope with it. Everybody else can watch the Twilight Zone. 🙂

  5. Agreed we have to deal with this reality, yet that does not take away from the fact that the Sages in both cases note that in the Garden and on Sinai the world would effectively be a state of redemption.

    It is both the hidden hand of Hashem in history as well as own actions that have lead up to the present day (though man is capable of growing beyond their innate predispositions / inclinations), what I am describing is a greater perspective where Hashem knows all scenarios which is expected of an omnipotent being that created existence.

  6. B”H

    I really like your perspective and I totally agree.
    In addition to that I am thinking quite practical:
    If there was time travel and we could go wherever we wanted – would life in the past be so much better? Would anybody like to stay an re – live the Middle Ages or Temple times in Jerusalem?

    In the end we all may come to the conclusion that every single generation had it’s issues. There have been always problems and people didn’t like the time where they used to live in.

    For many people, time travel would just be an escape from their own reality. People who do so won’t find neither their perfect happiness in a parallel universe nor in the past.

  7. Would not want to go back to the past as the only benefit of time traveling assuming one is there as a spectator (with no butterfly effect and grandfather paradox or other time travel related issues to mess things up), would be to gain clarity as to what actually happened.

    The problems of previous generations likely have relevance for today, especially since some find parallels with what happened in past civilizations throughout history as if the continual rise, peak and fall of civilizations are cyclical or at least rhyme.

    In the case of Yahadut, it would bring clarity to what was practiced in the past given many Jewish sects today embrace many customs that are inconsistent with what our forefathers actually practiced from the time of the Temples up to Hazal, which damages their credibility every time they urge other Jews to return to the ways of our forefathers without making an effort to actually be indigenous like our forefathers and dump the baggage of Galut since much of Yahadut is tied to Eretz Yisrael.

    Amongst other curiosities It would be worth seeing a parallel timeline with an Israeli carmaker or few significantly better than Autocars Co, founded by the likes of Josef Ganz (considered the Grandfather of the Volkswagen Beetle) and Adolf Rosenberger (who helped found Porsche) with contributions from Edmund Rumpler, Paul Jaray and Carlo Abarth.

    Almost all of whom were Jewish with Paul Jaray being of Jewish ancestry and apart from Abarth, almost all their contributions (let alone their Jewish origins) being virtually erased from history.

  8. B”H

    A few years ago, I think it was on New Year’s Eve, someone published tweeted a message for time travelers. In case there are time travelers around, please get in touch with the authorities.

    If I was a time traveler I would do anything but not getting in touch with someone official. 🙂

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