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dg03's avatar

What are Jews views on the after life and how does it affect the way they live?

Asked by dg03 (35points) May 16th, 2019

Does the belief make them want to be a better person? Does it make it so the person is not worried about death or the opposite?

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9 Answers

filmfann's avatar

My understanding is that Jews don’t believe in the afterlife.
I hope I am wrong.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No, we Jews don’t believe in afterlife and the threats of Heaven or Hell. Those are just stories.

Our belief is that you should be a good, honorable, just person in this world.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m Jewish. If you want my personal view, I never think about the afterlife much, it was almost never brought up when I was growing up.

What affects us wanting to be a better person is the idea of how our actions help ourselves and society in this life. Be charitable, pay it forward, golden rule. Judaism is very earthly. We want to do the right thing, the moral thing, because it is right, and because it improves life here with the people we love, and even with strangers.

Some very religious Jews will say things like they do good deeds because it pleases God, or because it’s written in the Torah to do so, but still almost nothing about afterlife.

Supposedly, the way I understand it, we are waiting for the messiah, and in the meantime there no heaven or hell per se. The messiah will bring a time of great peace. I’m not religious, so I’m not completely sure the belief.

Jews care about behavior. Whatever religion you are, or lack thereof, if you are a good person God looks favorably on that. If there is an afterlife Jews don’t believe God would say, “oh, too bad you aren’t Jewish, you’ll have to be damned to hell.” We don’t have to convert you, because we don’t worry about your soul, we are just concerned that you are good, and if our souls go somewhere your safe if you’ve been good.

We are all God’s children. Aren’t we?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

One of my favorite persons in this world, and who happens to be a member here, is an Atheist Jew. He and I have had many talks on religion.
I’ll see if he’s interested in commenting.
I think Judaism isn’t as much of a religion as it is an ancient culture and philosophy. I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

nerdgirl578's avatar

I think religions (the beliefs and morals) aren’t that different from one another. I’m not exactly religious, but my moral standard doesn’t necessarily differ from people who are, whether they are christians, jews, muslims or whatever. (I’m sorry if this is going off topic)

Caravanfan's avatar

Exactly what @elbanditoroso said, and it’s one reason why there are so many atheist Jews. It’s not about what comes after—it’s about what comes now.

Here is the essence of what it means to be Jewish:

One famous account in the Talmud (Shabbat 31a) tells about a gentile who wanted to convert to Judaism. This happened not infrequently, and this individual stated that he would accept Judaism only if a rabbi would teach him the entire Torah while he, the prospective convert, stood on one foot. First he went to Shammai, who, insulted by this ridiculous request, threw him out of the house. The man did not give up and went to Hillel. This gentle sage accepted the challenge, and said:

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this—go and study it!”

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