What is Jewish Heaven? (do the Jewish believe in Heaven?)

During my days in a theology school, I developed an interest in Jewish tradition and culture. I was particularly intrigued by Jewish beliefs about life after death. To obtain accurate information on this subject, I first interviewed my professors and then went to a few nearby churches and interviewed various priests who offered their thoughts on the subject. I recently taught my college theology students about Jewish tradition. Among the topics we covered was Jewish Heaven. As usual, many misconceptions arose, and a heated debate followed. Based on my extensive research on this topic, I was eager to teach and answer any questions regarding Jewish traditions and their belief in Heaven. So, what is Jewish Heaven?

Jewish Heaven is a divine realm in which Jewish people believe faithful and pious souls ascend after physical death. It is thought to be the next world. According to the Jewish religion, it also resembles the Garden of Eden in its natural state before sin. It is considered to be a new world in which God resides.

I encourage you to read on and join me as we delve deeper into this issue to discover the truth regarding Jews believing in an afterlife, the stages of Heaven in Judaism beliefs, and much more.

How many levels of Heaven are there in Judaism?

do the Jewish believe in Heaven?
How many levels of Heaven are there in Judaism? Image source: Pixabay

The existence of seven separate levels of Heaven is mentioned in Jewish Rabbinic literature. Vdon, Riqia, Shechaqim, Zebhul, Maon, Machon, and Araboth are among them. As part of its beliefs and traditions, the Jewish Rabbinic literature records these heavenly levels. It is crucial to note that the Bible is quiet on this subject and has opposing perspectives.

Furthermore, the seven heavenly levels of Heaven are thought to occupy various places. The first level, Vdon, is said to be the location where the sun is located. Riqia, the second level, is considered to be the location of the sun, stars, moon, and planets. Shechaqim is the third level, where millstones are supposed to produce manna for the religious.

The fourth celestial level, Zebhul, is claimed to be the abode of upper Jerusalem, together with the Altar and temple. It is also described in Jewish tradition as the area where Michael, the chief angel prince, offers sacrifices. The fifth level, Maon, is thought to be where the ministry’s angels reside. To respect Israel, these angels are thought to sing at night and remain silent during the day.

Machon, the sixth heavenly level, is claimed to contain snow treasuries, toxic dew and hail chambers, mist caverns, water receptacles, and wind chambers. It allegedly has fire doors. Araboth, the final heavenly level, is thought to be the home of righteousness, judgment, and justice. It also contains the souls of the virtuous, the spirits and souls of future creatures, life qualities such as peace and blessings, and the dew that will resurrect the dead.

What do Jews believe about the afterlife?

Jewish people believe that after physical death, there will be an afterlife. This is where the souls of the dead will continue living in a spiritual realm far from this earthly world. Their souls are believed to remain isolated in a place believed to be the next world which resembles the Garden of Eden in the description before mankind was forced out. In this next world, the souls of the righteous will exist there, waiting for the messianic era, an age of bodily resurrection.

This afterlife is also said to contain a place for the souls of sinners and wicked people after death. It is a place of purification and punishment for their souls. Some believe that the process of purification will result in forgiveness. Others differ, suggesting that their souls will be destroyed or condemned from the next world or the world that is to come.

What is the afterlife place in Judaism?

What is Jewish Heaven? 
What is the afterlife place in Judaism? Image source: Pixabay

In Judaism, there is mention of a place called Sheol. According to Jewish tradition, this is an afterlife underworld place where all people go when they die. This place is also recorded in the Bible in Job 17:16, a place mentioned to be for the dead. There is also a place that is said to resemble Heaven and hell in the afterlife for Jewish people. This is according to Jewish tradition.

The next world is said to be similar to Heaven and the Garden of Eden. This is a place where Jewish people believe religious people’s spirits will ascend once they die physically. These souls are thought to stay there until the Messiah returns. According to Jewish tradition, a messianic era will come in which physical resurrection will occur, ushering in the activities of the next world.

This afterlife location is also claimed to house the souls of non-believers and bad people after physical death. It is considered a place of pain and retribution, similar to hell. It is also claimed that it is a place where souls assess their transgressions and repent before rising to the Next World, which is heavenly-like. Some, however, think it is a place of eternal damnation and separation from God and his creation.

Do Jews believe in the Christian concept of Heaven and hell?

The Jewish people believe in Heaven and hell. When contrasted to the Christian concept of Heaven and hell, these ideas are nearly identical yet differ in minor ways. The Jews believe in a realm comparable to paradise where true believers and the devout would be lavishly rewarded. This is due to their unwavering faith and loyalty to God. In Jewish belief, a location analogous to hell is also believed to exist.

Hell is the same in Jewish, and Christian thought: a realm of torture and retribution for evil people and non-believers. In the Christian understanding, hell is a one-way trip. There is no atonement or purification from there. In the Jewish concept of hell, certain souls can be cleaned and redeemed. Christians believe that hell is an unending place of pain, whereas Jews believe that God will destroy all non-believers and sinners.

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