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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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  #1  
Old 29-07-2012, 03:49 AM
Fairfre Fairfre is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 179
 
Do Jews believe in Hell?

Please excuse my ignornance and my apologies if this question has been asked before.
Do Jews believe in Hell?
By Hell, I mean a place of everlasting torment.
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  #2  
Old 29-07-2012, 08:41 AM
Yamah
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Not exactly. Jews believe in Heaven and a kind of Purgatory called 'Gehenom'. Everybody eventually makes it into Heaven but they can only make it when they are pure. A person can be purified either by reincarnating into this reality and avoiding sin or spending time suffering in Gehenom.

A person will have to spend a longer time in Gehenom and deal with a higher intensity of torment depending on the level of impurity remaining within. Some rare cases will be in Gehenom until the end of time, simply because there will not be enough created time to finish the purification process. This will only occur to a very rare few, however, who are almost completely evil.

The completely evil who have no chance for redemption are not sent to Gehenom. Instead they are annihilated from existence and do not see any form of afterlife. This is said to be worse than Gehenom, because at least when you are suffering you exist.

Like I said, those are very rare exceptions. 99.9% of individuals are not pure evil or almost pure evil and will, eventually, make it into Gan Eden (Heaven).
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  #3  
Old 29-07-2012, 09:55 PM
she who plays
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Hi Yamah,

is there any way to put what you said into a kind of intellectual logic? I'm just interested in how non-jews should interpret such ideas, because it does seem to have a reasonable and systematic premise.
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  #4  
Old 30-07-2012, 01:36 PM
Yamah
Posts: n/a
 
I'll try my best... the problem is this is an extremely large topic and it hangs on many other premises. If you're interested in this idea further I'd recommend reading Derech HaShem (the Way of God) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto.

God is Perfect Good. Perfect Good desires to give Good to others. We were created to be recipients of God's Goodness.

This world (Olam HaZe) is inferior and imperfect. The next world (Olam Haba) will have a higher degree of perfection. Thus, a greater degree of Goodness can be given to those who dwell in the next world. The whole reason for the existence of this world is to prepare God's creation for the receiving of His Goodness (which is a separate topic that I can elaborate on if desired).

God desires to give goodness to ALL of His creation and thus wishes to prepare as much of His creation as possible to receive His Good. Thus, He created many different ways in which His creation can become prepared to receive His Goodness. In short, all of these ways are methods of Purification - retaining all possible attributes of perfection and ridding all attributes of imperfection. The two primary methods of doing so are through (1) incarnating in this world so that we can learn and grow and become more perfect willingly and (2) spending time in Gehenom where our visions of perfection are made clear and we are made to suffer through all of our regrets and mistakes in this world in order to get past them.

After the whole process of reincarnation and purification is completed, 99.9% of individuals make it through to the Next World.

The two exceptions are: (1) the irredeemable few who will not be made ready no matter how much they are to suffer - these are simply annihilated since there is no reason to make them suffer for naught (Suffering serves the purpose of Rectifying; if Rectifying is impossible then Suffering is just cruelty and God is not cruel) and (2) the barely redeemable who require the entire length of created time to be purified. They will only make it into the next world after the end of time.

How was that?
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  #5  
Old 30-07-2012, 05:27 PM
she who plays
Posts: n/a
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamah
I'll try my best... the problem is this is an extremely large topic and it hangs on many other premises. If you're interested in this idea further I'd recommend reading Derech HaShem (the Way of God) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto.

God is Perfect Good. Perfect Good desires to give Good to others. We were created to be recipients of God's Goodness.

This world (Olam HaZe) is inferior and imperfect. The next world (Olam Haba) will have a higher degree of perfection. Thus, a greater degree of Goodness can be given to those who dwell in the next world. The whole reason for the existence of this world is to prepare God's creation for the receiving of His Goodness (which is a separate topic that I can elaborate on if desired).

God desires to give goodness to ALL of His creation and thus wishes to prepare as much of His creation as possible to receive His Good. Thus, He created many different ways in which His creation can become prepared to receive His Goodness. In short, all of these ways are methods of Purification - retaining all possible attributes of perfection and ridding all attributes of imperfection. The two primary methods of doing so are through (1) incarnating in this world so that we can learn and grow and become more perfect willingly and (2) spending time in Gehenom where our visions of perfection are made clear and we are made to suffer through all of our regrets and mistakes in this world in order to get past them.

After the whole process of reincarnation and purification is completed, 99.9% of individuals make it through to the Next World.

The two exceptions are: (1) the irredeemable few who will not be made ready no matter how much they are to suffer - these are simply annihilated since there is no reason to make them suffer for naught (Suffering serves the purpose of Rectifying; if Rectifying is impossible then Suffering is just cruelty and God is not cruel) and (2) the barely redeemable who require the entire length of created time to be purified. They will only make it into the next world after the end of time.

How was that?


Yes, you seem to be describing something like the evolution-involution process, or some karmic system whereby the soul is growing by its experiences to eventually realise its true omnipotent nature.
But what is the definition of 'good' that you're using? Is this absolute to you? Because I don't personally see the idea of goodness-badness to be set it stone, or to refer to specific things.

Hm.. I guess it goes down to this good-bad thing. By that, do you mean lightness and darkness..?
And by purgatory.. do you mean a sort of non-material dream or nightmare, like when we go to bed and detach from our bodies to roam the unconscious?
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  #6  
Old 30-07-2012, 08:25 PM
Yamah
Posts: n/a
 
the term Involution I'm not familiar with... is that like evolving to a predestined goal?

In Judaism it isn't about realizing our true omnipotent nature. Judaism does not, in fact, claim that we have a true omnipotent nature. We are a Creation, we are not Creators. We exist other than Him.

The definition of Good in Judaism is a separate discussion, one which I would gladly engage in, but understanding the definition of Good isn't necessary when trying to understand the purpose of Good.

By Purgatory... I have no idea what it means from a christian perspective. From a Jewish perspective it is greatly debated. There are so many opinions regarding the details of Gehinnom that I can't even begin to delve into what exactly goes on there. The only thing agreed upon is the Why of Gehinnom, which is as a purification process.

I will say that the explanation I like best is that Gehinnom is an internal phenomenon. Once a person dies all of their memories are recalled with perfect clarity and objectively observed and understood. All of the thing that were good and that they can be proud of from an elevated perspective shine and bring comfort. All of the things which they realize were wrong from an elevated perspective resurface as festering wounds of remorse, disapproval and contempt. The person will then have a long time to dwell with the reality of their decisions and the realizations of their consequences until they have purged themselves.
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  #7  
Old 31-07-2012, 12:11 PM
Occultist
Posts: n/a
 
Sheol a seperation of God but not the Christian Ideals of hell itself no.
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  #8  
Old 31-07-2012, 08:32 PM
she who plays
Posts: n/a
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamah
the term Involution I'm not familiar with... is that like evolving to a predestined goal?

In Judaism it isn't about realizing our true omnipotent nature. Judaism does not, in fact, claim that we have a true omnipotent nature. We are a Creation, we are not Creators. We exist other than Him.

The definition of Good in Judaism is a separate discussion, one which I would gladly engage in, but understanding the definition of Good isn't necessary when trying to understand the purpose of Good.

By Purgatory... I have no idea what it means from a christian perspective. From a Jewish perspective it is greatly debated. There are so many opinions regarding the details of Gehinnom that I can't even begin to delve into what exactly goes on there. The only thing agreed upon is the Why of Gehinnom, which is as a purification process.

I will say that the explanation I like best is that Gehinnom is an internal phenomenon. Once a person dies all of their memories are recalled with perfect clarity and objectively observed and understood. All of the thing that were good and that they can be proud of from an elevated perspective shine and bring comfort. All of the things which they realize were wrong from an elevated perspective resurface as festering wounds of remorse, disapproval and contempt. The person will then have a long time to dwell with the reality of their decisions and the realizations of their consequences until they have purged themselves.


Evolution would be the long process of physical growth of the universe and of life. It's described as coming out from God. Involution would be the evolution of human consciousness and the mind. It's described as taking the path back to God. It's from the Roiscrucian concept of 'Rounds'; the idea that life follows a sort of spiral pattern from subtle to gross to subtle, etc.


No need to explain about good-bad. I'm just generally inquisitive about the different uses of language (Especially religious) to describe things that we all can't help not go through.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2012, 06:44 AM
Fairfre Fairfre is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 179
 
Hi Yamah,
Much of what you say resonates with me .However, I am a little confused.

"A person will have to spend a longer time in Gehenom and deal with a higher intensity of torment depending on the level of impurity remaining within. Some rare cases will be in Gehenom until the end of time, simply because there will not be enough created time to finish the purification process. This will only occur to a very rare few, however, who are almost completely evil."
You said some cases will be in Gehenom till the end of time.Is time going to end? or.. Do you mean Earth time?
Also.How did people become impure thus needing purification in this world?
I ask because of some of my visions which are actually memories of past events in Heaven.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2012, 06:50 AM
Fairfre Fairfre is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 179
 
Occultist ,
I understand the difference you are referring to between Sheol and the general Christian concept of Hell.
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