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Do Jews Believe in Hell?


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#1 Templar

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:01 PM

Do Jews believe in Hell? If so, what are Jewish ideas about the nature of Hell? Is it a place of eternal torment or just a place of eternal seperation from God? Who goes there? Do all Gentiles go to Hell?
Thanks in advance for your replies.

#2 ijs

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:36 PM

Do Jews believe in Hell? If so, what are Jewish ideas about the nature of Hell? Is it a place of eternal torment or just a place of eternal seperation from God?


Jews do not believe in Hell as Xians understand it. It is in no way a place of eternal anything. Gehinnom is a place of cleansing/purification for various sins, up to a maximum of twelve months. There is no eternal punishment. (However, depending on who you talk to, there is likely to be reincarnation.

Do all Gentiles go to Hell?


Absolutely not. In fact, gentiles have an easier road into the World to Come than Jews do. Jews have 613 mitzovt to carry out; gentiles have only seven, a.k.a. the Noachide Laws (refrain from idolatry, blasphemy, murder, sexual offenses, theft, eating a limb torn from a live animal; and establish courts of justice). In this context, then, Judaism is distinct from Xianity in two ways: first, non-members of the religion are not punished for reason of their non-membership; and second, that any after-death punishment is based on actions, not belief.
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#3 Templar

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:03 PM

Jews do not believe in Hell as Xians understand it. It is in no way a place of eternal anything. Gehinnom is a place of cleansing/purification for various sins, up to a maximum of twelve months. There is no eternal punishment. (However, depending on who you talk to, there is likely to be reincarnation.



Absolutely not. In fact, gentiles have an easier road into the World to Come than Jews do. Jews have 613 mitzovt to carry out; gentiles have only seven, a.k.a. the Noachide Laws (refrain from idolatry, blasphemy, murder, sexual offenses, theft, eating a limb torn from a live animal; and establish courts of justice).

Very interesting. While I admit that I find Jewish ideas about Divine justice more appealing, I also think that the Christian Doctrine of Hell represents a good defense against the classic atheistic argument that "all religon is based on fear, and that man developed notions about the afterlife because he was afraid of death." I mean, if man 'created' the afterlife idea because he was afraid of death , then why would he imagine a potential afterlife for himself that's a great deal worse then death?


Any road, I think the most efficacious course of action for a Gentile such as myself to take is to observe the Noachide laws(I guess I do anyway) and stick with my own religon. Kill two birds with one stone. Whoever's right, I'm bound to please someone up there. :db:

#4 Pinchas

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:11 AM

Any road, I think the most efficacious course of action for a Gentile such as myself to take is to observe the Noachide laws(I guess I do anyway) and stick with my own religon.


That's pretty much impossible...

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#5 Templar

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:10 AM

That's pretty much impossible...

Not really. My religon, being largely based on Judaism, forbids all those things as a matter of course.

#6 usuario

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:55 PM

Do all Gentiles go to Hell?


That's a good question. Jews believe that Gentiles only need to follow the 7 Noahide Laws. But whether obeying the 7 Noahide Laws means you have to believe in the God of the Orthodox Jews (the one who gave the Written and Oral Torah, transmitted from Moses at Mount Sinai down to the rabbis of today, and who did not have a son named J-sus or a prophet named M-hammed) is debatable. I think it's a fair estimate that there are probably less than 700,000 (a percent of a percent) non-Jews who believe in the God of Orthodox Judaism. Are the other 99.99% of non-Jews going to hell? I think this is a question that Jewish rabbis and scholars prefer not to talk about. After all, unlike Xtianity and Islam, Judaism isn't as obsessed about the afterlife.

#7 Templar

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:23 PM

That's a good question. Jews believe that Gentiles only need to follow the 7 Noahide Laws. But whether obeying the 7 Noahide Laws means you have to believe in the God of the Orthodox Jews (the one who gave the Written and Oral Torah, transmitted from Moses at Mount Sinai down to the rabbis of today, and who did not have a son named J-sus or a prophet named M-hammed) is debatable.

Why should it matter as long as one believes in the God of Abraham? I mean, believing that Y/weh has a Son or a Muhammed doesn't change the fact that Christians and Muslims worship Y/hweh. We simply disagree with Jews over Y/hweh's personal details.

#8 33948

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:47 PM

What is the difference between the God of orthodox Judaism and the God of other Judaism or X-ianity? I thought they were the same? Other than the fact that Judaism doesn't define god or defines him as undefinable etc.

Yet the thing that bothers me is that Christianity, Judaism etc. doesn't really require people to obey the laws. If someone breaks a commandment he is still Christian. He just asks Jesus for forgiveness. A Jew simply does a ritual or I guess in olden times sent a scapegoat into the desert. Abrahamic religions seem to be more about justifying sin (or avoiding punishment) rather than not doing it.

I thought that Christians and Muslims were basically following the Noahide laws and basically practicing Judaism for non-Jews.

I would suppose the emphasis in Judaism is in doing- doing rituals, wearing the right garments etc. and Christianity emphasizes believing. I'm not sure about Islam. I guess it is a little of both. Do others agree with this? Is professing belief important in Judaism? If so, belief in what?

As far as crafting your own religion based on Judaism why not just join a Christian group? There are countless Christian denominations, all based on Judaism. According to the teachings of Judaism and x-ianity one must meet with others in order to practice the faith. It can't be done alone. The primary reason I have no interest in being a Christian myself (despite all the variations that exist- nearly limitless variations) is that all of them emphasizes being a follower, believing things without any logic or rational reason to do so, and commit themselves to contradictory and irrational literature.

#9 ijs

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:30 PM

I ... think that the Christian Doctrine of Hell represents a good defense against the classic atheistic argument that "all religon is based on fear, and that man developed notions about the afterlife because he was afraid of death." I mean, if man 'created' the afterlife idea because he was afraid of death , then why would he imagine a potential afterlife for himself that's a great deal worse then death?


Not really a good defense. The afterlife in general is because of the fear of death – i.e., you’re not really dead, so it’s ok. The specific of coming up with the eternal hellfire & damnation, &c., is another form of basing the religion on fear – i.e., if you don’t believe properly, you’re going to eternal punishment; this is done to instill fear in the person to motivate him or her to convert to that religion (in the U.S., chiefly various forms of Xianity).

The general part I understand. The specific cited above is an example of spiritual terrorism.

Any road, I think the most efficacious course of action for a Gentile such as myself to take is to observe the Noachide laws(I guess I do anyway) and stick with my own religon.


This is impossible, because Xianity is idolatrous. In that respect, atheists actually have an easier time of it. Since the atheist worships nothing, he does not worship an idol.

Whoever's right, I'm bound to please someone up there.


Pascal’s Wager – a classic (albeit simplistic) argument made by Xianity (to which I have been subjected). A lousy argument.

Why should it matter as long as one believes in the God of Abraham? I mean, believing that Y/weh has a Son or a Muhammed doesn't change the fact that Christians and Muslims worship Y/hweh. We simply disagree with Jews over Y/hweh's personal details.


These statements are contradictory. The G-d of Avraham is distinct from the g-d of Xianity; Xians, by virtue of believing there is a son of G-d (at least, in any sense different from everyone being a child of G-d), do not believe in the G-d of Avraham. Can’t have it both ways. Similarly – though not the same, since Muslims agree on that point – Mohammed cannot have been a prophet (from a Biblical standpoint) because he wasn’t Jewish. (Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a prophet, necessarily, just that he’s not related to the Tanakh.) The G-d of Avraham is One, completely indivisible, with no physical form, and certainly no son in the way described of jesus in Xianity (which would make no sense).

What is the difference between the God of orthodox Judaism and the God of other Judaism or X-ianity? I thought they were the same?


Xians say they are the same, and have always said so, in order to attempt to entice Jewish converts; Jews on the whole didn’t (and don’t) buy it. The claims of Xianity with regard to jesus’s person are inconsistent with the Jewish conception of G-d.

Basically, G-d is One – indivisible and incorporeal. There are no parts or aspects ... a unity unlike any other unity. The Xian G-d is divisible and manifested corporeally into a human being, whereas the Moshiach will be completely human.

Yet the thing that bothers me is that Christianity, Judaism etc. doesn't really require people to obey the laws.


Sure they do. But a transgression does not typically result in expulsion (though it can).

I thought that Christians and Muslims were basically following the Noahide laws and basically practicing Judaism for non-Jews.


Muslims do (or, at least, Islam requires it); as explained above, Xianity does not, because it’s triune g-d is idolatrous (and not consistent with Judaism).

And the Noachide Laws are not “Judaism for non-Jews.” It’s just that non-Jews don’t have as many laws to follow.

I would suppose the emphasis in Judaism is in doing- doing rituals, wearing the right garments etc. and Christianity emphasizes believing. I'm not sure about Islam. I guess it is a little of both. Do others agree with this?


Doing, yes, but not just rituals with significance. How one lives in daily life is equally important – studying it and doing it. There’s so much more than ritual, but you won’t get it just from attending synagogue services, even orthodox ones.
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#10 Templar

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

Not really a good defense. The afterlife in general is because of the fear of death – i.e., you’re not really dead, so it’s ok. The specific of coming up with the eternal hellfire & damnation, &c., is another form of basing the religion on fear – i.e., if you don’t believe properly, you’re going to eternal punishment; this is done to instill fear in the person to motivate him or her to convert to that religion (in the U.S., chiefly various forms of Xianity).

The general part I understand. The specific cited above is an example of spiritual terrorism.

You're wrong about that, actually. While Christianity is largely based on Judaism, Christian ideas about Hell were almost certainly based on the Graeco-Roman Tartarus, a pit under the earth where all evildoers were punished, whether they believed in the Roman Pantheon or not. So there was really no advantage to belonging to any particular religon in the original 'prototype' of the 'Hell' idea. I suppose you're right in saying thatthe Christian conception of Hell does not present a good defense, but I believe the Hell idea in general does.





The Xian G-d is divisible and manifested corporeally into a human being

You place a limit on God's power. Do you think that an All-Powerful indivisible God can't be in two places at once? Just because a single indivisable human can't bi-locate doesn't mean that God can't.

#11 Templar

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:14 PM

This is impossible, because Xianity is idolatrous. In that respect, atheists actually have an easier time of it. Since the atheist worships nothing, he does not worship an idol.

I know, of course, that you don't think that Jesus Christ is God, but when I worship Him, I do so under the genuine impression that He is. Even if I'm mistaken in doing so, I am attempting to worship Y/weh, since I believe that Jesus and Y/hweh are one and the same. I'm not getting why athiests like Richard Dawkins who heartily despise Y/weh can theoretically get to the Jewish Heaven, but Christians like me, who are at least trying to worship Y/weh (albeit in a skewed way from your point of view) cannot.

#12 33948

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

How does an atheist get to Jewish heaven? Is it because of actions?

One problem here is that what Christians generally believe and what is written in their bible are two different things. I have seldom met a Christian who has even read the bible. Besides the fact that according to the Bible the world already ended and judgement day already came during Jesus' lifetime, the other fact is that according to Jesus we are all sons of god exactly as he is. He also calls himself "the son of man". This may have to do with the word "bin" such as Osama bin laden. This means of the family or of the tribe as well as "son of". Jesus claims that all miracles he can do, anyone can do. When the pharisees are going to stone him for claiming to be the son of god he says "isn't it written ye (plural) are gods?". This references the Torah psalms I believe. However, I believe this refers to the fact that Jews are gods.

So in that way I don't know if his claims of being a god are incompatible with Judaism.

Of course he goes on to say that no one can find God, except through him and that the world will end in the lifetime of those he was preaching to. I believe in the book of Mathew he says "if I attest to myself I'm a liar and don't trust me" and two pages later he says "I attest to myself" or "I am a witness to myself" or some such thing. So I'm not sure how anyone can honestly take the literature seriously.

#13 Pinchas

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:43 AM

Not really. My religon, being largely based on Judaism, forbids all those things as a matter of course.


Yes, really... that G-d is take any form of corporeality what-so-ever, is blasphemy of the highest form (not to mention ridiculous)... you pretty much gotta choose a team.

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#14 shrigala

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 05:50 PM

Absolutely not. In fact, gentiles have an easier road into the World to Come than Jews do. Jews have 613 mitzovt to carry out; gentiles have only seven, a.k.a. the Noachide Laws (refrain from idolatry, blasphemy, murder, sexual offenses, theft, eating a limb torn from a live animal; and establish courts of justice). In this context, then, Judaism is distinct from Xianity in two ways: first, non-members of the religion are not punished for reason of their non-membership; and second, that any after-death punishment is based on actions, not belief.


Well...it seems that gentiles have it easier and that they do not have to be members. But in practice the prohibition against idolatry, as explained in this thread, makes it quite restrictive as well. Non-Jews do not have to become Jews, but they almost have to accept the vision of G-d espoused by Judaism, so they have to accept the basic tenets of Judaism.

BTW, contrary to popular belief, Christians, or at least the Catholic Church does not teach that all non-Catholics/non-Christians go to hell. What they say, more or less, is that it's up to G-d and "we don't know". Usuario said that the Rabbis do not like to pronounce themselves on the fate of non-Jews, it's similar for Catholic priests, it's one of those grey areas.

#15 Templar

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

Yes, really... that G-d is take any form of corporeality what-so-ever, is blasphemy of the highest form (not to mention ridiculous)...

What Tanakh verse do you base that on?

#16 33948

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

In genesis Elohim is walking through the garden of eden and he sees that Adam and Eve are naked. That seems like its describing a physical person.

#17 Pinchas

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:43 AM

What Tanakh verse do you base that on?


Why does it have to be based on Tanakh verses? Haven't you ever heard of the Oral Law? Also why don't you check out Maimonides' 13 principles of Jewish Faith... I believe this is number 3.

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#18 Pinchas

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:48 AM

In genesis Elohim is walking through the garden of eden and he sees that Adam and Eve are naked. That seems like its describing a physical person.


As we learn in the oral law, the written Torah is written in the language of man because it is impossible for the human mind to grasp God. (As he told Moshe "

And He said: 'Thou canst not see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.'"

)

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#19 Templar

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:53 AM

Why does it have to be based on Tanakh verses? Haven't you ever heard of the Oral Law? Also why don't you check out Maimonides' 13 principles of Jewish Faith... I believe this is number 3.

The Oral Law was compiled between 200 and 500 A.D., a significant period of time after Jesus Christ; I might argue that that segment of the Oral Law was designed to discredit Jesus' claims. Likewise, while Maimonides' writings may be insightful, it is important to remember that his writings too would probably be caculated to combat Christian philosophy. (Especially considering the fact that he spent his life in service to the Christian-hating Islamic world.)

#20 Pinchas

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:36 AM

The Oral Law was compiled between 200 and 500 A.D., a significant period of time after Jesus Christ; I might argue that that segment of the Oral Law was designed to discredit Jesus' claims. Likewise, while Maimonides' writings may be insightful, it is important to remember that his writings too would probably be caculated to combat Christian philosophy. (Especially considering the fact that he spent his life in service to the Christian-hating Islamic world.)


For that matter the Christian Bible was compiled a significant period after the death of Jebus as well so it's pretty obvious they made the whole thing up...

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For the record, IRL he is a really nice guy! - HappyDuck, Z"L





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