Monthly Archives: May 2013

Salvation: What Happens When Jewish People Die?

 

This is a question that most people don’t like to face but nevertheless is most important to people of faith. If you are Jewish, it is a question that most may feel comfortable asking their rabbi. Depending upon the persuasion, the rabbi may answer: (1) “Eternity with G-d”; (2) “It depends on how you’ve lived your life”; (3) “We really do not know”; and (4)  “We go to the grave and that is it”.

Depending upon the rabbi, Jewish people will either be comforted by these words or troubled by them. After all, most Jews would expect the rabbi to know. To the Jewish mind G-d has certainly made provision for their eternal salvation.  Does this answer reside solely with the rabbis? If it does then Ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Revisionist Jews may all have a different destination based on the opinion of their rabbis.  The rabbis will admit that the Torah is vague on the subject-which it is-and then quote from a tractate in the Talmud to derive more clarity. The rabbis cannot totally agree concerning life after death because the Torah is vague and the Talmud is subject to interpretation, which can result in multiple conclusions. The Jewish people know that they must remain faithful to the covenant that their forefathers entered with Adonai. The tragedy is that the Jewish people know they are  G-d’s chosen and the apple of his eye, yet they are taught  that they cannot know for certain what will happen when they close their eyes for the last time. Here is some great news. The Jewish people can know what happens after death and can know that they can spend eternity with Adonai and know this before they pass on.  Some may think, “All I have to do is be a good person, a good Jew and believe in the Almighty. That should do it.”, but the Tenakh states specifically how a Jewish person can know. Before we go further, if you are Jewish, ask your rabbi this question, then record the answer. Continue reading

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