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Thread: Do Jews Believe in Heaven and Hell?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Do Jews Believe in Heaven and Hell?

    Hi, everyone,

    It's me again, with another question. But I am curious to know about this, and I never thought to ask anyone.

    I know what Christians believe about Heaven and Hell, but what do Jews believe about this subject?

    My reason for asking is, I was raised believing that Christianity was based on Judaism. But I've also read in some places that the Tanakh does not mention Heaven very often, and that the concept was possibly not known by many of the early patriarchs. I have no idea if this information is correct or if it is mistaken, but I really am curious about the Heaven and Hell issue, because, being raised as a Christian, I have been told they are Biblical beliefs of reward and punishment.

    But I wonder if this belief if based in Jewish tradition, or if perhaps it was based somehow in a Pagan tradition.

    I look forward to all your answers, and thank you kindly for taking the time to read the thread. Peace be to all of you.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Unhappy I hope the thread didn't offend, but it looks like it may have.

    I wanted to write and apologize to everyone for my post. I'm not sure what I did, but the fact my question hasn't been answered in two weeks tells me I must have done something wrong.

    I hope you'll all forgive my naivete, because I honestly do not know what I did wrong.

    In any case, if you all want, I'll have this thread deleted and I won't ask again.

    Sorry if I offended anyone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I didn't see your post until now. Only the sect called Sadducees didn't believe in life after death. That's why they were sad, you see.

    Of course they believed in Heaven and Hell. Of what use would there be in following a god who only led you through troubles in this life to let you vanish at death? No much.

    Everyone who loved God in the OT was looking forward to Heaven. I know there is much scripture about the Messiah coming to earth. The mercy of God blinded them to Jesus so gentiles could be partakers of eternal life.

    The eyes of the Hebrew nation will be opened in due time. Job believed in life after death, as did Moses, Isaac, Abraham, Jacob, David, Noah and on and on.

    If there were this life only, and every second was glorious with no pain, suffering or sorrow, it still wouldn't make any sense. Yes, they believed in Heaven and Hell.

    Hope this is what you were looking for.

    Take care,

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thanks for the answer Rick.

    However, this does not really answer my question. So maybe I should ask it differently.

    Are Heaven and Hell concepts brought about by the Tanakh (Old Testament) or are they only found in the NT?

    I should qualify this by saying that I'm referring to Heaven and Hell in the Christian sense. I find very little mention of Hell in the OT and almost no mention of Heaven therein. This is why I asked. I wanted to know what the Tanakh teaches.

    And now I'm going to offend a few people, in asking that Christians not answer this question for me. Part of the reason I asked this question in the Jewish Forum, is that I wanted to know what Jews believe, not what Christians think Jews believe. Having converted from Christianity to the Noahide ways, I believe that Old Testament Judaism would have a better idea what Old Testament Jews believe than New Testament Christianity would.

    I mean no offense by this, but I know this stipulation is still going to offend a lot of people. But I want to hear the answers from people who practice Old Testament Judaism, not New Testament Christianity.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Smile Well, I think I finally found my answer!

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry to have offended, if I have done so, but I wanted you all to know I have found the answers I'm looking for. A book I got from Barnes & Noble yesterday has been showing me a lot of how Jews think about G-d and about other things. It's an interesting subject to me, because the only concept of Heaven and Hell I've ever known has been the concept that Christianity taught me. Now that I have a basic idea what Heaven and Hell really are in Jewish thought, I'm going to ask the mods to go ahead and either lock or delete this thread.

    Besides that, I think the fact no one has answered could be indicative of a wary attitude toward people asking such questions. I think I may have asked a very uncomfortable question without realizing it even could be.

    Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and ask the mods to lock this thread. I found the answers I was looking for, and I appreciate you all very kindly. Even though you all did not answer my questions, the lack of the answers drove me to find what I was looking for through a source that I can read in the comfort of my couch.

    Thanks again everyone!

  6. #6
    carpe noctem Sarita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thanks for your question, Ian. I don't think it was inflammatory or offensive, but since you've found your answer, I'll close the thread down.

    Thanks again for visiting us! Come by any time with questions. Sorry I didn't stop by sooner with some information for you!


    "There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees." ~ Hugo

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