Journey to Heaven: Exploring Jewish Views of the Afterlife
A number of the basic tenets of Jewish belief regarding the afterlife, resurrection, immortality, judgment, messianism, and the world to come are laid out in this fascinating and accessible volume. Beginning with the Bible’s references to Sheol and its allusions to resurrection, this survey explores immortality and bodily resurrection in Second Temple literature; the Mishnah’s discussions of olam ha-ba, or the world to come, and how to merit entry into it; and the Talmud’s depictions of paradise and hell, and the soul’s journey through these metaphysical landscapes. The book also explores the views of medieval scholars such as Maimonides and Nahmanides, Jewish mystical teachings about reincarnation, and modern views of faith and belief, as well as the evolving view of the Messiah over the course of Jewish history. This absorbing study demonstrates that the afterlife is indeed a vital part of Judaism as it reveals how generations of Jews, from biblical times to the present, have grappled with the core ideas and beliefs about the hereafter.
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afterlife Albo amoraim angels apocalyptic Apocrypha Avot behavior belief in resurrection Ben Sira Berakhot biblical Blessed bodily resurrection body century b.c.e. chapter commentary concept Daniel dead death deeds describes discussion divine doctrine earth Enoch eternal Ezekiel Ezra faith Gan Eden Gehinnom Genesis God’s power Greek hasidic heaven Hebrew Bible hereafter Holy human idea Isaiah Israelites Jerusalem Jewish law Jewish mysticism Jews Josephus Judaism judgment Kabbalah kabbalists king Land of Israel live Lord Luria Maccabees Maimonides medieval Messiah messianic age Midrash Mishnah modern Moses Nahmanides nefesh neshamah olam ha-ba one’s passage person philosophers physical prophet Psalms Pseudepigrapha punishment Rabbi Akiva redemption reference to resurrection reincarnation religious revival reward righteous ruah Sa’adiah sages Sanhedrin says scholars Second Temple Sefer Sheol Sira soul soul’s immortality sparks spiritual stories suffering suggest Talmud teachings texts thinkers tion Torah study Tractate tradition transmigration tzaddik verb verse vision wicked writings Zionism Zohar