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  • Jews traditionally believe in an afterlife, but the focus of the Jewish religion is on life on earth and interactions between people, following God's laws, etc. This is one main difference between Judaism and Christianity, which is heavily focused on an afterlife.
  • They have this answer: Simply put, yes-- but what we believe in might better be called "life after life." The belief in an eternal life is one of the basic teachings of Judaism. As a matter of fact, Maimonides (a foremost Jewish philosopher and expert of Jewish Law) included this belief in his Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith.
  • The human soul is invested with an infinite quality that is not subjected to the limitations of time and space, just like God. According to Jewish belief, it is only the body that dies, while the soul lives on.

Where does the soul go after death?

This question implies travel and movement, which only exist in this physical universe. So, the soul "goes," if that can be said at all, to a "place"-- a state of existence-- that is completely drenched in Divine Radiance, unlike our current existence. Here, Godliness is hidden. There, Godliness is manifest. In Judaism, this place is called the World to Come, while life on Earth is referred to as "This World." After death the soul goes to the World to Come.

Our souls' eternal life makes it so important for us to maximize our time in this world. Because the amount of radiance the soul is capable of absorbing in the World to Come is directly proportionate to the spiritual acts performed by the soul in This World. It's kind of like taking a test-- the more you study, the better you do.

To prepare our souls for the World to Come, we study Torah and perform mitzvot. These spiritual acts feed and nourish our souls. However, we do not study the Torah or perform mitzvot merely to earn a reward in the World to Come-- this is seen as selfish.

In summation, the question may be rephrased: do Jews believe in death? And the answer, ultimately speaking, is "no."


Jews believe human existence goes beyond physical death although the primary focus is the here and now as opposed to the afterlife .

There is a degree of belief among more Orthodox Jews concerning reincarnation and the coming of the Messiah when the souls of the righteous will be resurrected.

I recall hearing something from my Jewish friends about wicked souls ceasing to exist beyond this life. One of the greatest proverbs among the Jewish people is about the wicked being "cut off from his people."

Many Orthodox Jews believe in multiple phases of an afterlife.

After a Jew dies his soul goes to heaven where it is judged how well it kept the 613 commandments (or 7 Noahide laws, if the person isn't Jewish.)

The person will then spend time in a fiery hell (Gehinom) for up to 11 months, to cleanse his soul of the blemishes caused by sinning.

The soul then goes to heaven - where it enjoys pure spiritual bliss. The intensity of the joy depends on the quality of his observance while alive.

(Unless the person committed one of the sins for which his soul gets "destroyed"; whether this means eternal hell or actual destruction is a matter of debate.)

At the end of days - which could be when Messiah comes or some time after that - there will be a miraculous resurrection of the dead. According to Jewish tradition the body doesn't decompose fully; a tiny fragment of bone from the neck is indestructible. From this bone the body will once again grow and all people who ever lived will once again come back to life and reunited with their souls. (They will be fully clothed and look like they did at the prime of their life.)

Then will be the great day of reckoning after which the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will live forever. (What kind of "life" is a matter of dispute; either life as we know it or else more the type of life like in the Garden of Eden before Adam's sin.)

Those who lend money with forbidden interest, or who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead will not be resurrected.

The above is based on articles 11 and 13 of the 13 Principles of Jewish faith as codified by the Rambam:

  • Article 11: Reward of good and retribution of evil:

    To believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, rewards those that keep His commandments and punishes those that transgress them.

  • Article 13: The resurrection of the dead:

    To believe with perfect faith that there will be a revival of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator.


the answer is: yes; but the belief in the afterlife of the Jews is different from the belief of Christians. The Jewish belief says that there are 4 paths after death:

1. the 1st is that if the human did not sin and was righteous then he will go to heaven

2. the 2nd is the the human did sin but not large sins they will reincarnate but they have to be humans again they can reincarnate into an animal or plants or something else

3. the 3rd is when a human soul sins bigger sins he will go to hell - now the Jewish hell is different from the hell that we often hear of. The punishment in hell is only for some months and it is a place where the soul is purifying.

4. the 4th and the worst, is a punishment for the sinners that had egregious sins. It's a tool that throws the soul to different places on earth and the soul needs always be on the run from the Angels of destruction. This punishment last for alot of years and its name is "Kaf ha-kela" which means a slingshot.


Normative Judaism:

The term "afterlife" is not usually used by Jews; rather, we refer to the "world to come." In truth, Judaism doesn't spend a lot of time discussing what will happen when we die, since the focus is on this life. There is also little mention of what happens after death in the Tanach (Jewish Bible). There are some ideas of what may happen when we die though:

  • When we die, our souls are cleansed, to accomplish this, we must account for all our actions in life, both good and bad. It's believed that this process doesn't take more than 12 months but virtually no one does enough bad in life to warrant it taking the full 12 months.
  • Some souls may return to God to wait for the world to come.
  • Some souls may be reincarnated as another person to have to opportunity to do more good in the world to become closer to God.
  • Some people are so evil in life that their souls cannot survive the cleansing process and cease to exist.


One of the central beliefs of Judaism, as codified by Rambam (Maimonides), is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he/she was alive. All outstanding accounts are settled after this life. Some cases illustrate this point, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler.
The afterlife is detailed at length in the Talmud. A full 20 pages of Talmud (Sanhedrin 90-110) are given to this subject. The afterlife is also referred to briefly in Torah (Bible) verses such as Genesis 15:15, which states that "You (Abraham) will come to your fathers in peace and will be buried in good (ripe; full) old age." This does not mean merely to be buried with one's forefathers, since Abraham was not buried with them. Such verses are stated many times.
The prophets are more explicit with such references (such as Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:13).
The Tanakh does not delve into detail of the rewards of the righteous, because other religions could compete with even more poetic promises. Also because belief in the afterlife was shared by all ancient societies and needed little reiteration. See the Kli Yakar commentary to Leviticus ch.26 for a fuller discussion.

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โˆ™ 2016-09-18 18:13:04
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โˆ™ 2015-01-28 18:50:20

Yes. One of the central beliefs of Judaism, as stated in the Talmud (Mishna, Sanhedrin 11:1) and codified by Maimonides (1135-1204), is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he or she was alive. This applies to all people, whatever their religion.
The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) doesn't dwell at length on the afterlife; and nor does Judaism spend a lot of time speculating on its details. However, that is not meant to diminish from its importance. Rather, the Torah implies that we are to use the bulk of our energies in keeping God's ways in this world, with our feet firmly planted on Earth, while nonetheless not losing awareness of our beliefs.
Our ancient sages stated the importance of being aware of the next world: "This world is a mere entrance-hall before the afterlife" (Mishna, Avot ch.4).

All outstanding accounts are settled after this life. Some cases illustrate this point, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler. And while we're alive, knowledge of the future world serves as one of the motivations to keeping God's will.

The Tanakh does not delve into detail of the rewards of the righteous because religions could compete with more and more poetic promises. Also because belief in the afterlife was shared by all ancient societies and needed little reiteration. Besides, it would be like describing the colors of a sunrise to someone who was blind from birth.
It is, however, referred to briefly in Torah verses such as Genesis 15:15, which states that "You (Abraham) will come to your fathers in peace and will be buried in good old age." Coming to his fathers does not mean simply to be buried with them, since Abraham was not buried with his ancestors. Such verses are stated many times.
The prophets are more explicit with such references (see Isaiah 26:19 and 66:24, Daniel 12:13, Zechariah 3:7, 1 Kings 8:30, 2 Kings ch.2, Ecclesiastes 12:7). The afterlife is spoken of at length in the Talmud. More than 20 pages of Talmud (Sanhedrin 90-110, Rosh Hashanah 16-18, and other passages) are given to this subject.

See also the Related Links.

Link: God exists

Link: The key beliefs of Judaism

Link: How do you know there are a heaven and hell?

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โˆ™ 2016-09-19 02:39:31

YES. Note that in Traditional Judaism, there is no eternal delineation between good souls and evil souls as is common in Christianity and Islam. Judaism holds that the Satan is still in heaven, which further means that there is no King of the Damned or any form of Eternal Damnation. During the Afterlife period, there are different mechanisms by which the soul must come to spiritual fitness in order to be a part of the eventual resurrection of the dead. Some Kabbalists say that this comes by way of reincarnation, but the dominant opinion in Judaism is that souls must exert themselves painfully to open up new levels of holiness. This is similar to the Christian concept of Purgatory.

However, there are a large number of Jews, generally from Liberal Judaism, who would say that Judaism has no afterlife. This lack of belief generally comes from the fact that Reform and Conservative Judaism do not stress the afterlife and often ignore teaching about it.

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Related questions

Do Hasidim Jews believe in an afterlife?

Yes, all religious Jews believe in the afterlife.

Why do Jewish people believe in after life?

Not all Jews believe in an afterlife. Furthermore, the reasons for belief are extremely varied and personal.

Do hidus believe in the afterlife?

yes they do believe in afterlife

Did babylonians believe in the afterlife?

Yes, they did believe in the afterlife.

What did Egytians believe about the afterlife?

What is the afterlife

Why don't Jews believe in afterlife?

The presumption of this question, namely that Jews do not have an afterlife, is incorrect. Many Jews and non-Jews are unaware of the afterlife in Judaism because, unlike Christianity or Islam, the afterlife (although important) is not the central day-to-day focus. Judaism focuses as a religion on the idea of creation and improvement of the world, as opposed to Christianity or Islam which see this life as a "resume-builder" for entrance to heaven or jenna. To read about the Jewish afterlife, please see the Related Questions below.

Which religons believe in the afterlife?

All mainstream religions believe in an afterlife.

What people are polytheistic and believe in an afterlife?

Christians and muslims believe in the afterlife.

What do Jews call heaven?

Jews have many different beliefs about the afterlife, and not all of them include the concept of a heaven. Jews who do believe in a heaven, refer to it as Gan-Eden (which means "the garden of eden").

Do Catholics believe in life afterlife?

Of course Catholics, and all Christians, believe in an afterlife.

What do Jews believe happens in the afterlife?

Jews Do believe in an afterlife, but they don't like calling it an 'After Life' because they believe life never ends. Instead they use terms such as: Life after life. When they die they're soul goes to place called 'Geninom' Here the soul is purified. It is not always a pleasant thing. From here the soul goes onto Heaven.

What is it called when you only believe in afterlife but not god?

AnswerIt is certainly not necessary to believe in the Abrahamic God to believe in an afterlife. Many religions offer hope for an afterlife in return for belief in their gods. However, to believe in an afterlife, but not believe in any gods, is a form of spiritualism.

What do Pastafarians believe about the afterlife?

Pastafarians believe that the afterlife is full of beer volcanoes and stripper factories.

Does satanism believe in a afterlife?

No, a Satanist believes in no prelife or afterlife.

Where do Jews believe they are going when they are saved?

If you are referring to the Messianic era, Jews believe that they will be gathered into the Holy Land. If you mean after death, Jewish Torah tradition is that righteous people (that includes righteous non-Jews) are rewarded in the Afterlife, which is allegorically called the (spiritual) Garden of Eden.

Do Jews believe non Jews will go to hell?

No. Unlike certain other belief-systems, Judaism proclaims that even those who do not believe in Judaism can merit the rewards in the afterlife. It depends upon how one lives, not on one's religion.

Why did the Chinese believe in the afterlife?

they belived in the afterlife so you can life a long happy afterlife....... BEAST

Do Jews have a belief in the after life?

Yes. The Jewish beliefs of the afterlife are similar to Christianity in that they believe in a heaven and hell, but are different in the qualifications for reaching heaven.

Do Jews and Christians have a place in the afterlife according to Islam?


A sentence with the word afterlife?

"She doesn't believe in any form of an afterlife."

Do the Jews believe in an everlasting life?

Yes. Though not detailed very much in the Torah, the eternal afterlife is discussed at length in the Talmud; and Maimonides includes belief in the afterlife among the most important Jewish principles.

Do Conservative Jews believe in afterlife?

Answer 1According to the research I've done, the answer is yes.Answer 2Conservative Judaism on paper and Conservative Jews in reality do not always match. Most Conservative Jews, if you just casually mentioned an afterlife would smirk as if its good joke or something similar. If you pressed them, they might give you a simplistic answer such as "I'll see my parents after I die" or something to that effect. This would be "some" Afterlife, but nothing detailed. However, unlike in Christianity and Islam, the afterlife in Judaism is not that important as a reason or purpose to live your life, so Conservative Jews typically don't discuss it and most do not know what Jewish teaching actually has to say about the Afterlife and the World to Come. A minority, of course, do know the Jewish tradition in this regard and believe in it.

If the Saints are dead how can you petition them?

Those who would petition Saints believe in an afterlife and believe that the Saints are alive in the afterlife.

Do the Amish believe in afterlife?

Yes, they do.

Do Muslims believe in afterlife?


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