Free-Will Angels

If God knows the future, how can free will exist?

How are we able to make truly autonomous decisions if God already knows what we’ll choose?

If God is intimately involved in guiding our lives, then how can our personal free will co-exist with his Providence?

Rebbe Nachman’s Answer

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov tells us that understanding the spiritual-philosophical conundrum at the root of these questions is simply beyond our ability.

The Rebbe says that “the answer to such questions lie in a sphere of wisdom that is so transcendent that the human mind is unable to reach it.

“This wisdom can never enter the human mind. It only encompasses the mind from the outside. One who truly understood this wisdom would not be human at all, he’d be an angel.”

Angels vs. People

Angels do not have free will. They are created to fulfill a singular mission, one which defines the purpose of their magnificent, but limited, existence.

We humans, on the other hand, have free will. And one of the necessary preconditions to having genuine free will, is that we live with paradox. Our free will co-exists with Divine Providence and Foreknowledge and it doesn’t make sense.

Richard Dawkins, Sigmund Freud, and Mr. Spock

Meteorologists, evolutionists, cosmonogists, psychologists and sociologists, and others tells us what reality is. They’re fond of describing the future by extrapolating predictions from the recent (or distant) past. They describe the past in terms of the present nature of existence.

Whether or not they’re accurate in their descriptions of reality—scientifc truths change from year to year, so it’s safe to say they often are not accurate—many pundits find it easier to say there is no God, than to believe that there is One who has knowledge that they will never access.

Some of them are truth-seekers who reject the limitations of being human and fail to embrace the incredible spiritual potential of being human.  They believe in free will without Providence. Or they believe there is neither free will nor Providence.


In the future, the Rebbe tells us, when the world’s deeply spiritual and peaceful nature has been revealed, people’s minds will expand. (Even scientists’ and politicians’.)

At that time, we will be able to comprehend the secret behind the fusion of of free will and Divine Providence.

The free will we live with today, the confusing kind, will fade away. Our minds will emerge from the cocoon of limitations, we’ll unfurl our wings, and ascend into a new way of being. We’ll be like angels with free will.


Based on Likutey Eitzos, Advice, BRI

Photo by AirBete, Wikipedia Featured Content

Author: Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Chaya Rivka's own words: What do we want? To feel less pain and more optimism. To be happy and lead meaningful lives. This all requires healthy relationships. If we learn, share, and live his teachings, Rebbe Nachman gives us real, practical tools to improve all our relationships—with ourselves, with each other, and with Hashem. Chaya Rivka Zwolinski is the Director of the first Breslov program for women, BRI Women. She “discovered” Rebbe Nachman in her late thirties and credits his profound wisdom with helping her make a 180 degree-turn in life. She shares Breslov inspiration with women in her classes, workshops, live and online at and in her work as a personal coach. She has authored and co-authored several books including the psychotherapy patient-rights best seller, Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On; she writes articles for,,,, and numerous other publications; is a consultant to Breslov Research Institute; and is the director of curriculum and program marketing at She leads women's trips to Uman and Jewish Ukraine with BRI Women and the BRI Experience travel program and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. Rebbe Nachman explains that “in the future, free-choice will be nullified” (Likutey Moharan, Vol. III, 21, 4). Free-choice stems from lacking knowledge, i.e. not knowing how to chose between right and wrong. E.g. In a test with two options, A and B, if someone knows the right choice (B) in advance, free-will is nullified – unless the person exercises free-will by choosing purposely the wrong choice (A). When the choices are wrong, free-will gives rise to mercy and compassion. Thus, free-will exists only in our human dimension where there is lack-of-knowledge because we are able to make truly autonomous decisions by making mistakes. Knowledge is one attribute of God, He knows all our right choices in advance and our free-will coexists with his Providence through the Torah.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *