Ask the rabbi

  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Basics of Jewish Faith

Heaven-Hell ; Mashiach and Afterlife


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

22 Av 5764
1. Does Judaism have a concept of heaven and hell, or in other words, reward or punishment after one dies? 2. Can you describe the world after Mashiach comes and tell me how this relates to the Jewish view of the afterlife?
1. Yes, one of the principals of our faith is that Hashem rewards the righteous and punishes the evil. 2. No one really knows exactly what will happen after life or in times of Mashiach we do know it will good times for the Jews and followers of Hashem as explicitly and implicitly written in the prophesies of Tanach. The Talmud in last chapter of tractate Sanhedrin brings a vague description of what will happen then; it should not be literally understood. The Rambam in the end of his compilation the Yad Hachazaka goes in some detail he concludes the same – we will know how and what only when it happens, the Ramchal in his book Derech Hashem goes in more depth into these issues and obviously the kabalistic mystical writings have a whole range of teachings of these issues of Mashiach time and after death period.
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