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Judaism and the afterlife

  • "This world is like a corridor before the world to come . Prepare yourself in the corridor so you can enter into the inner chamber" ( Mishnah Avot 4:16). 

Judaism embraces belief in an after life, although conceptions of what happens after death is are vague. The two basic Jewish ideas for afterlife are the world to Come, and the Messianic resurrection of the dead.

 Olam Haba: The World to Come What happens to the soul after death? The Talmud describes the future home of the soul as the "World to Come". The general rabbinic consensus is that the soul maintains a relationship to the body until it disintegrates. Then, depending on what kind of life the person lived, the person goes to Paradise (Gan Eden), or to a kind of hell called Gehinnom.

On this topic:
Judaism and Death

Death and children




The Messiah and the Resurrection of the Dead: Techiyat Hametim

When the Messiah comes, the soul will return to the dust and the body will be reconstituted. This period is envisioned as a kind of Utopia when God's glory will be revealed.

The resurrection of the dead is a central belief in Judaism and is mentioned in the daily liturgy in the form of the following blessing:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha-Olam Mekhaye Hametim.
Blessed are You God, Ruler of the Universe, Who enlivens the dead.

"Even after death the righteous are called living. But the wicked, even during their life they are called dead."


Is the idea of an afterlife important to your view of your own life as a Jew. If there were no concept of continuity after death, would you act any differently?

"R. Eleazar said in the name of R. Hanina: When a righteous man dies, he

dies only to his own generation. A parable of a man who lost a pearl:

Wherever the pearl is, it is still a pearl -- it is lost only to its owner."

"No monuments need be put up for the righteous -- their words are their


"The righteous are more powerful after their death than during their life"

Choose any one of these. What do you think it means? Does it make sense to

you? How?


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