Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I have wondered where exactly the Jews get their views of afterlife. The thing is that Jewish people do not believe in heaven or hell. Heaven and hell is a Christian invention, later adopted by Muslims. I actually think that the ancient Jews might have not believed in any afterlife whatsoever. There is no evidence in the Tanach that gives a sign that there could be an afterlife. Indeed, it even says in places, "the dead know nothing" or "the dead go down in silence". This leads me to think that originally Jews had no concept of an afterlife. After they seen other religions develop afterlife they said to themselves, "wow that is a great marketing idea, we need to use that". I think it is the Rambam who says, Jews die, but in the future they get resurrested to live a second time, but he does not say anything about eternal life. Again, this makes me think that Judaism might not have an afterlife as it used to be. The Jews of today have some messed up version of afterlife that I have no idea where it came from. I actually hope that original Judaism has no afterlife, because that would be at least one thing the Jews got correct.