Do Jews believe in hell?


#1

I was chatting with a Reform Jew and he commented that Jews do not believe in the concept of a hell. Is this correct?


#2

The situation in modern Judaism is similar to the situation in modern Protestantism: There is no one form of Judaism that is binding on all Jews everywhere. There is instead a multiplicity of beliefs along a spectrum that ranges from ultra-traditional to ultra-liberal and even to atheistic. Liberal Jews, such as those who are part of the Reform movement, very often do not believe in hell. Modern Judaism does not have a highly developed theology of the afterlife because of its emphasis on the importance of this life; but traditional Jews, while they may or may not use the word *hell *because they may consider that to be indicative of a Christian concept, do believe in an afterlife and in rewards and punishments in that afterlife based on how an individual lives his life.

As an example of Jewish thought on the afterlife, which you can show your friend as evidence that some Jews do believe in the concept of eternal punishment, please see the article at the link below.

Recommended reading:

Afterlife in Judaism by Rabbi Shraga Simmons


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