Question about Jewish Doctrines


#1
  1. What do Jews teach is the condition of those who are dead? (consious/un-consious - are they aware they are dead, or not aware of anything?)

  2. What is the fate of the wicked? (hell, ect.)

  3. What is the fate of the righteous? (heaven, ect.)

  4. How do Jews veiw birthday celebrations? (traditionally)

  5. Do you think man is comprised of a physical body and a non-physical soul?


#2

I don’t think there’s a uniform Jewish belief about these things.

A Reform Jew and an Orthodox Jew and a Conservative Jew and a Reconstructionist Jew could give four different answers.

Some Jews believe very similarly to what Christians believe.

Some believe that “dead is dead”.


#3

I recently found ‘Ask the Rabbi’ which has a lot of Jewish doctrine. It originates in Jerusalem and I would guess that the rabbi is Orthodox.


#4

Hi all!

Lessee here…

[quote=Chris LaRock]1. What do Jews teach is the condition of those who are dead? (consious/un-consious - are they aware they are dead, or not aware of anything?)
[/quote]

Oh, aware that they are dead.

[quote=Chris LaRock]2. What is the fate of the wicked? (hell, ect.)

  1. What is the fate of the righteous? (heaven, etc.)
    [/quote]

As we understand it, a soul that has sinned in this world has to pay for its actions/inactions in the next world. We do not automatically & necessarily divide souls into the entirely righteous who will therefore enjoy enternal bliss and the entirely evil who will therefore suffer eternal damnation. The degrees in between are infinite & we believe that God rewards/punishes each soul according to its good/not good actions. We have many prayers & rituals that are believed to benefit the soul of the deceased as it goes through whatever trials and tribulations it has to endure in the next world. jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm & jewfaq.org/death.htm are good reads. That there is reward-and-punishment in the next world is an article of faith in (orthodox) Judaism; the actual, nitty-gritty mechanics of said reward-and-punishment are alot less relevant and don’t get as much press.

Our very great medieval Sage, Maimonedes (ou.org/about/judaism/rabbis/rambam.htm), wrote that there are 13 principles of Judaism (ou.org/torah/rambam.htm). Principle #11 says:

I believe with perfect faith tha G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

[quote=Chris LaRock]4. How do Jews veiw birthday celebrations? (traditionally)
[/quote]

Well, I’m orthodox now but wasn’t raised that way. We live in a religious (i.e. modern orthodox) neighborhood in a suburb of Jerusalem (see the pics at jr.co.il/ma/pic/ma012.htm). Our boyz (will be 10 in January & will be 6 in November) get invited to their fair share of birthday parties. Among adults, I supose that we mark them just about the same as anyone else.

Proverbs 20:27 says:

The soul of man is the candle of the Lord.

There are Jews who have the custom of not blowing out birthday candles (or not using them at all). A candle’s destiny is to burn. If it is extinguished before it has completely burned down, it has not fulfilled the purpose for which it was created. If, based on Proverbs 20:27, the candles on a birthday cake represent the person, blowing them out before they have fulfilled the purpose for which they were created might mean that the person could be so extinguished. We don’t have this custom.

[quote=Chris La Rock]5. Do you think man is comprised of a physical body and a non-physical soul?
[/quote]

Yes.

[quote=Steadfast]I don’t think there’s a uniform Jewish belief about these things.

A Reform Jew and an Orthodox Jew and a Conservative Jew and a Reconstructionist Jew could give four different answers.
[/quote]

Yes, but…

There have been/are many Jewish “sects” both historically (Sadducees, Essenes, etc.) and currently (the so-called “Reform”, “Conservative”, “Reconstructionist”, “Flavor-of-the-Monthist” :rolleyes: , etc. movements). While some/many/most of their members may have been/are Jews, what they believe & practice is surely and simply not Judaism. Traditional, normative Judaism is orthodox (orthodoxy being a far broader spectrum than many non-Jews, and many non-orthodox Jews, seem to realize; see jewfaq.org/movement.htm#US for a good summary on orthodoxy & the other, so-called, “movements” within Judaism).

The Reform, Conservative & Reconstructionist “movements” are newfangled movements that developed in Europe, in reaction to the Enlightenment. They have junked so many core Jewish beliefs and, in effect, make it up as they go along, influenced by whatever happens to be trendy at the moment & taking care to be “politically correct”. This is Judaism??!! Orthodox Judaism believes that the Torah comes from God; the Reform movement does not. The Conservative movement tries to straddle a middle ground that does not exist. If one does not believe that the Torah is from God, then what’s the point? Judaism is not, and never has been, an everyone-for-him/herself religion. Orthodoxy recognizes that there is a certain set of core beliefs that are immutable & which serve to bind all Jews everywhere, much as they have for thousands of years.

(cont.)


#5

(cont.)

So, while there are/have been many Jewish sects, there is only one authentic Judaism (i.e. orthodoxy).

[quote=Joe Kelley]I recently found ‘Ask the Rabbi’ which has a lot of Jewish doctrine. It originates in Jerusalem and I would guess that the rabbi is Orthodox.
[/quote]

“Ask the rabbi” is an excellent site, as is jewfaq.org/toc.htm.

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#6

Very interesting !
What is the nature of this reward/punishment? Is it permanent or temporal ? (or maybe both ?..)
Is there a doctrine/belief similar with the Purgatory doctrine in the Catholic Church?

Alex.


#7

jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=460&letter=E
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=118&letter=I&search=sheol
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=179&letter=D&search=sheol
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=233&letter=R&search=sheol
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=614&letter=S&search=sheol
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=707&letter=A&search=hell
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=115&letter=G&search=hell
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1521&letter=A&search=heaven
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=270&letter=S&search=satan
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1577&letter=A&search=anti%20christ
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=472&letter=H&search=heaven
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=65&letter=P&search=paradise
jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=611&letter=P&search=Purgatory


#8

Hi all!

[quote=Alex]Very interesting!
[/quote]

Thank you!

[quote=Alex]What is the nature of this reward/punishment?
[/quote]

We appreciate the rewards of the world-to-come/Paradise/Heaven (call it what you will) in abstract, spiritual terms alone.

Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld writes:

The Talmud tells us: “All of the prophets prophesied for the Days of the Messiah alone. But regarding the World to Come, ‘…an eye has not seen, other than the L-rd’s, what He will do for those who hope in Him’ (Isaiah 64:3)” (Berachos 34b). Elsewhere, the Talmud states, “The World to Come has no eating, drinking, reproduction, commerce, jealousy, hatred, or rivalry. Rather, the righteous sit with their crowns on their head, enjoying the shine of the Divine Presence, as it says ‘And they saw the L-rd, and they ate and drank’ (Exodus 24:11)” (Berachos 17a).

Maimonides elaborates on the above passage, slightly at least: (What follows is a free translation.) The true good which is reserved for the righteous is the World to Come. It is life without death and good without evil… The World to Come does not contain within it corporeal existence. Rather, the souls of the righteous will exist alone without form, as the angels. Therefore, none of the physical experiences or occurrences with which we are familiar will apply - eating, drinking, sleeping, standing, sitting, etc. And that which the Sages described the righteous as ‘sitting’ and having ‘crowns on their heads’ is metaphorical. ‘Sitting’ implies existence without exertion or hardship. ‘Crowns’ imply the wonderful, exhilarating knowledge through which they have earned closeness to G-d. Finally, ‘enjoying the shine of the Divine Presence’ means they will be able to comprehend the truth of G-d in ways wholly unattainable while in a dark and lowly body (Mishne Torah Hil’ Teshuva 8:1-2).

(…).

If the good of the World to Come were in some way limited enough to be understandable to us, it could not be all that great. It certainly could not be infinite. We’ve seen the pleasures this world has to offer. They would hardly satisfy us for an eternity. Knowing, however, that the pleasures are wholly unimaginable to us tells us that what awaits the faithful is infinitely good. G-d will reward us with something which is infinite. This can be one thing only: G-d Himself.

Link: torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos/chapter4-22.html

[quote=Alex] Is it permanent or temporary? (or maybe both ?..)
[/quote]

Maybe both.

[quote=Alex]Is there a doctrine/belief similar with the Purgatory doctrine in the Catholic Church?
[/quote]

Absolutely.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#9

A Jehovah’s Witness I know condemns the ideas that man has both a body and soul, birthdays may be celebrated, and that the dead are concious - while saying that Jews never subcribed to the idea; and thus these ideas are pagan teachings.


#10

Bump

Is there anyone else who can shed some light on these topics?


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