Jews, what is the doctrine of salvation for Orthodox Judaism?

An encyclopedia of Biblical theology reads:

“The Jewish doctrine of salvation… is based on the fundamental assumption that man has within himself the possibility of fulfilling the law, and he who has fulfilled the law is righteous. Justification is therefore the work of man himself and is, in the strictest sense of the term, his own merit.”

Is this a true statement? If not, then what is? Any other relevant comments?


If you are answering these questions, would you tell me what your religious background is? I would like to know from what source I'm hearing. Thanks.

6 Answers

  • Daniel
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Mr. Knowitall put it very well. I would simply add that in Jewish belief, non-Jews are only obligated to keep the Seven Noachide Commandments:

    Prohibition of Idolatry: There is only one God. You shall not make for yourself an idol.

    Prohibition of Murder: You shall not murder.

    Prohibition of Theft: You shall not steal.

    Prohibition of Sexual Promiscuity: You shall not commit adultery.

    Prohibition of Blasphemy: Revere God and do not blaspheme.

    Prohibition of Cruelty to Animals: Do not eat the flesh of an animal while it is still alive.

    Requirement to have just Laws: You shall set up an effective government to police the preceding six laws.

    It is certainly within the reach of members of a civilized society to adhere to these laws. Of such individuals, Maimonides states that: "The righteous of all nations have a portion in the World to Come."

    The rules Jews are held to are a tad more stringent and complex, but you can let us worry about that.

    The knowitall is right - it's not about "salvation" and "damnation," it's about taking this gift of life the Creator blessed us with, and making the best possible use of it. Our souls are essentially on loan - our job is to learn, and to grow, and to establish a personal relationship with the Creator, may He be blessed.

    I hope you find this information helpful.

  • 1 decade ago

    In the 18th chapter of Ezekiel, the prophet was teaching his people a fundamental biblical principle: A righteous person cannot die vicariously for the sins of the wicked. This notion was identified as thoroughly pagan and was to be avoided by the Jewish people at all costs, and is taught emphatically throughout the 18th chapter of Ezekiel. In verses 20-23 the prophet declares that repentance alone provides full forgiveness of sin. Never are blood-sacrifices or the veneration of a crucified messiah mentioned throughout Ezekiel's thorough and inspiring discourse on sin and atonement.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That's an interesting way to put it. I wouldn't say it's wrong, but I don't think that's the way Jewish people think of it.

    Jews don't really have the concept of 'salvation' in the way Christians do. Orthodox Jews believe that God promised to favor the Jews so long as they followed The Law, but they realize that it's an ideal, that nobody can follow it completely. They believe that God forgives our mistakes, he doesn't expect perfection, and there are ways to do atonement and repentance and things like that.

    But it's not about going to heaven, it's about living a good life here on earth, not just for yourself for others.

    Jews don't believe (as some Christians do) that one is 'saved' by belief, or that one is 'saved' at a particular point in time. It's a lifestyle, a system of ethics and principles, not of beliefs, and it's a constant struggle through one's life. And the reward is here, not in the afterlife.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is correct in the since that the Judaism states that every Jew has an obligation and the ability to follow God's commandments.

    but Judaism really dose not have a concept of salvation. We believe that people are born pure, and not in sin and that you strive to earn your reward in the next life, not try to save yourself from punishment.

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  • 1 decade ago

    OK- in a way it is right since Judaism believes that everyone is responsible for themselves. No one can atone for you- you have to do your own repentance. There is no devil to blame- you are the only one responsible for your actions- you don't get a cop out of "the devil made me do it".

    The halachah (law) is there to guide us. It is the road to a holy life and we gain merit in following is to the best of our ability. And it is in the merit of this attempt that we are judged- not whether we were 100% pefect, but whether we tried to live it- we know nobody can be 100% good 100% of the time- the goal is to do it s best we are able.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yah=Yahweh (name of god) + Yeshua = Salvation.

    Yahshua = Yahweh is my salvation.

    Always has, always will be.

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