Death and Afterlife in Judaism

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Jews view death not as a tragedy but rather a part of life and of God’s plan. The Jewish faith believes in an afterlife in which the deceased’s soul will dwell in a place where they will be rewarded or punished depending on how they have lived their life here on earth.

  • Death is a means of being reunited with one’s ancestors. The Book of Genesis discusses how Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses are gathered with their people after death.
  • Judaism believes in the existence of heaven and hell. For the righteous, a place called Gan Eden will be their eternal destination.  Unrighteous Jews and Gentiles will be punished in a place called Gehinnom.
  • Judaism also believes that souls who are in-between (neither good nor totally wicked) go to a dark place called She’ol where they go through a period of purification and will either be placed in Gan Eden or will continue to be punished.
  • There is a messianic age or a period when the Messiah will come. It is believed that during that time, those who died righteous will be resurrected. The messianic age will be a time of lasting peace and joy.

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Posted by Haydee on Monday, July 19th, 2010. Filed under Jewish How To. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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