Why don't Jews believe in heaven and hell?
Jews don't believe in the devil because the God of the Old Testament and Talmud is too hard to tell apart from the devil. But why don't they believe in hell and heaven?
- Annsan_In_HimLv 74 years agoFavorite Answer
But many Jews DO believe in a heaven and a hell! They might call heaven 'the bosom of Abraham' but that is, effectively, their idea of heaven for good Jews.
You must never have heard of the rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel (in existence before, during and after Jesus' time on earth). They based their beliefs in a place of glory after death on these Hebrew scriptures:
“You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you will take me into glory.” (Psalm 73:24)
“But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.” (Psalm 49:15)
“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save. When their spirit departs they return to the ground” (Psalm 146:4)
“Remember G-d… before the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it… For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-14)
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt… You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive our allotted inheritance.” (Daniel 12:2-13)
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes.” (Job 19:25-26)
Ancient Hebrew scriptures had two words, qe’ver (grave) and sheol (to which the grave was the entrance). Sheol is often translated as hell. The Rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel taught that sheol had two compartments, hell and ‘the Bosom of Abraham’, with a great chasm separating them. This holding place was for the departed spirits of the dead, but on the Day of the Resurrection, they would come forth to be resurrected and judged.
And don’t forget Enoch, for God took him instead of allowing him to die, and Elijah, who was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind without dying either – Hebrews 11:5.
See “The Life And Times of Jesus The Messiah” by Alfred Edersheim (1971) Appendix XIX, On Eternal Punishment, according to the Rabbis and the New Testament” (see vol. II Book V ch. Vi) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/e “Josephus’ Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades” as in “The Works of Josephus” translated by William Whiston, 1980, page 637Source(s): http://www.ccel.org/search/fulltext/Josephus%27%20... http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/hade...
- NeshamaLv 74 years ago
Judaism does have a concept of reward and punishment in the afterlife. However, since words we use bring to mind certain images, particularly “Heaven” and “Hell,” it is better to use the Jewish terminology which comes without the baggage.
When someone dies, the disembodied soul leaves this sensory world and enters “Gan Eden,” the spiritual Garden of Eden (a.k.a. “Heaven”). In the Garden of Eden, the soul enjoys the “rays of the Divine Presence,” a purely spiritual enjoyment dependent on the Torah learning and good deeds done while in a body. Every year on the yahrtzeit, the day of passing, the soul ascends to another level closer to G-d. This gives it tremendous pleasure.
In order to restore the level of purity the soul had possessed before entering the physical world, it must undergo a degree of refinement commensurate to the degree which the body may have indulged itself
Before entering the Garden of Eden, though, a soul must be in a state of spiritual excellence, for it cannot enjoy the Divine Presence to the fullest degree with the pleasures and coarseness of our physical world still engraved on it. These would give the soul poor “reception” of divine radiance, and must be removed.
If a person sinned in this lifetime, as most of us do, then, to continue the radio analogy, we have serious interference. In order to restore the level of purity the soul had possessed before entering the physical world, it must undergo a degree of refinement commensurate to the degree which the body may have indulged itself. This means there is quite a bit of cleaning to be done. This cleaning process hurts, but is a spiritual and mental process designed not for retribution, but to allow one to truly enjoy his/her reward in Gan Eden.
This cleaning process is called “Gehinom,” or, in the vernacular, “Hell.”
- Anonymous4 years ago
"Why don't Jews believe in heaven and hell?"
Probably because THOSE PLACES HAVE NEVER BEEN PROVEN TO EXIST.
Non-existent places --- only morons will believe in them.
- MoLv 74 years ago
BECAUSE THEY ARE SENSIBLE....I DON'T BELIEVE IN THEM EITHER....MAKES NO SENSE.
Mo University Lecturer Atheist
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- 4 years ago
The concept of the afterlife was a later development in the Scripture. It was not discussed until the New Testament was written and the Jews reject that part of the Bible.
- often wrongLv 64 years ago
its because theyre still waiting for the promised messiah to come.
They believe he hasnt come yet.
- RicardoLv 74 years ago
Because they are smarter than fundies.