Jewish Views of the Afterlife

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009 - Religion - 533 pages
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The second edition of the classic Jewish Views of the Afterlife features new material on the practical implications of Jewish afterlife beliefs, including funeral, burial, shiva, and more. With an updated look at how views on life after death have changed in recent years, Simcha Paull Raphael guides the reader through 4,000 years of Jewish thought on the afterlife by investigating pertinent sacred texts produced in each era. Through a compilation of ideas found in the Bible, Apocrypha, rabbinic literature, medieval philosophy, medieval Midrash, Kabbalah, and Hasidism, the reader learns how Judaism conceived of the fate of the individual after death throughout Jewish history. While many affirm a belief in the afterlife, a scarce few are aware of where these teachings can be found in Jewish literature. Among the topics discussed in this fascinating volume are heaven and hell, Olam Ha-Ba (The World to Come), Gan Eden, resurrection of the dead, immortality of the soul, and divine judgment prior to death. Both historical and contemporary, this book provides a rich resource for scholars and lay people, for teachers and students, and makes an important Jewish contribution to the growing contemporary psychology of death and dying.

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Contents

FOREWORD by Zalman M SchachterShalomi
xxiii
PREFACE
xxxv
A PERSONAL JOURNEY
1
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Simcha Paull Raphael is adjunct assistant professor in Jewish Studies at Temple University, is a spiritual director at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and has a psychotherapy practice in Philadelphia where he specializes in bereavement. He has been involved in spiritually-oriented death awareness education for more than 20 years.

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