In an era of predictive ideology, Judaism maintains that humans are endowed with free will.
Was God responsible for the Egyptian leader's intransigence?
Judaism and Free Will
From the beginning of biblical time, man has struggled to break his binding ties in order to become free, independent, and fully human.
Modern thinkers have addressed the free will problem by questioning the authority of science, acknowledging the limits of freedom, and asserting the transcendent importance of choice.
According to some Hasidic thinkers, human free will is an illusion; God causes all human actions.
Jewish tradition assumes that our actions are significant.
Medieval commentators suggested justifications for God's hardening Pharaoh's heart.
In the Middle Ages, Jewish thinkers struggled to reconcile God's knowledge of the future with human choice.
Biblical and rabbinic sources stress both divine determinism and human freedom.
The Bible records several problematic instances of God hardening human hearts, seemingly stripping them of free will.