Do jews believe in hell?

Do jews believe in hell, or something similar to it?

If not, than what fate do jews believe will befall evil people?

The little that Jews talk about hell pictures it as a separation from G-d and possibly an annihilation of the soul. It is not regarded as eternal torment. Since the Torah does not specify, it is generally not a topic of discussion or interest.

Don’t you guys have that thing called Sheol? Or is that no longer followed in the Jewish religion? Can you explain that please? :slight_smile:

There are inexplicit references to Sheol as a shadowy underworld to which all souls go. It is not quite the same as the Greek Hades, which is perhaps more akin to hell.

The idea of the afterlife as being in a world of slowly fading ‘shades’ was common in the Ancient Middle East.

Here are a couple of interesting Jewish links on this subject:

myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Theology/Afterlife_and_Messiah/Life_After_Death/Heaven_and_Hell.shtml

chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/282508/jewish/What-Happens-After-We-Die.htm

judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/Afterlife-In-Judaism-Jewish-Beliefs.htm

That depends whose version of Hades you look at.

Biblical Sheol is actually pretty close to the realm of 'Αιδης in Greek literature, since that is gloomy, bleak, and mostly formless. Ταρταρος, which is developed into greater detail by later Greek writers, is the one which fits Hell better.

On the other hand, the Hellenized Jewish version of 'Αιδης, in the Greek Scriptures, is pretty much Hell: LXX gloom and NT place of punishment (although 2 Peter 2:4 refers to Ταρταρος).

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