If you're not going to believe in a religion, Judaism is for you.

PosterChild and I were discussing Judaism. The following may need confirmation from the SDMB’s talmudic scholars, but…

Christianity, Islam and Buddhism punish non-believers and/or bad actors posthumously (boy is Keanu Reeves in for it:)). Judaism, however, denies the Christian/Muslim notion of sin and hell as well as the Buddhist notion of Karmic payback in a next life.

When Jews die, nothing happens right away–except the worm stuff:eek:. But, at the End of Days, non-believers, bad Jews and good Jews alike are resurrected and given an eternal pass to the city of God.

So, in conclusion, if you’re a non-believer or just a crappy person, Judaism has the most attractive retirement package for you. There’s no “Atheism, is a hunch, what if you are wrong?” If you’re wrong, but a Jew, you’ve still got it made in the shade.

Submitted by a coupla semi-lapsed but made in the shade Jews

It sounds to me as if if the Jews are wrong, they’re fucked, but somebody else is ok, but if everyone else is wrong and the Jews are right, then everyone’s ok.

On that logic, it’s not worth being a Jew, since I’m ok if they’re right, anyway. If they’re wrong, but I’ve guessed right on my other religion, I’m ok then, too.

Jews only get in on one religion’s deal. I can get in on 2 by not being a Jew.

So you’re saying you agree that if you’re going to not believe in a religion, it ought to be Judaism? ;j

One other point worth bringing up. Catholics, and many Protestant Christians believe that Jews get to go to heaven without having to believe in Christ. In fact, IIRC, the Pope (don’t have the cite) said this at one point. (Maybe something to do with there needing to be Jews around for the 2nd coming.)

Point 2, A friend of mine who converted to LDS, said that Mormons believe that when you die, you come before g:rolleyes:d and the almighty says to you- “do you believe in me?” and if you say “no” you go to hell. So essentially only stupid people go to hell.

How come Jews and Christians believe in the same god (the angry one) plus the Christians got a nice guy called Jesus as an extra and the Christians go to hell while the Jews dont?
That sux.

If it is really so hard to stay out of hell, I bet it s gonna be overcrowded… no big surprise it is hot down their… there are simply too many ppl in there!!! They should get an air-condition.


Umm, folks- the Jewish faith certainly has a “hell”. True, it is quite different than the Christian one, but no fun at all.

Many Christian sect do not think that hell is for “non-beleivers”, as such- but for “unrepentant sinners”. Several think that the 'virtuous" of other faiths go to their just reward, not hell.


This thread was originally intended as a light-hearted view of religion. Therefore PosterChild and I put it here. We recognize the potential for it to become GD, however. The second you smell GD, please shovel it on over there.


I found this cite. My sense of it is a de-emphasis of eternal damnation/punishment for the wicked and unfaithful. Consider:


Maybe the OP was an overstatement (I’m curious what PosterChild will add, though). Still, the message that rings true is that no matter the extent of one’s earthly transgressions, ultimately, if you’re on your best behavior, your slate will be wiped clean. Sure, you may not have front row seats for when god conducts the philharmonic, but you won’t have to listen to Hall and Oats for all eternity:eek: either.

{Danielinthewolvesden do you know more about the “jewish hell” (I’m not talking guilt!) that you can share?}

I may be pulling this stuff out of my nether regions, but one big difference between judaism and the other most common modern monotheistic religions, is that H-E-double toothpicks is mentioned in the respective god-given books of the other religions, whereas in judaism (the focus on life not after) the good book doesn’t go into it. In fact, if I misremember correctly, there were a lot of different ‘current’ beliefs about the afterlife in different jewish groups around the time of jc, but he was the first to formally present a god-given view of the it.

The current jewish thoughts on the afterlife are what have evolved in the different jewish groups during discussions about discussions about discussions about what g:eek:d meant or was implying in the torah.

P.S.- Now that Daniel mentions it, I remember learning from a (catholic) nun that some catholic groups do not believe in hell, either. The whole: an all-loving g:eek:d wouldn’t do that to us- which, IIRC, is the common reason that some other christians don’t believe.

If you’re not going to believe in religion, I don’t think Judaism is then the answer. After all, one of the Noahide commandments is to believe in God.

Zev Steinhardt

Actually there is no heraven or hell. There is Eden and Gehena, but those are not the same. The only concept of afterlife in Judaism is Olam Ha Ba, the next world, which will come into being when the Messiah comes…blah blah blah.

That’s just my Hebrew school education talking.

Well- IANAOJ (I am not an Orthodox Jew)- but Gehena is Hell. It is supposed to be dark, cold (not as in freezing), and cheerless. The most important part- is that you are completely cut off from G-d, ie there is no happiness. There were some ideas that Kings & such that were evil leaders of others might “burn”- but in general, there was no torture. And, in most cases, one would spend less than a year there, as “punishment” for transgressions against the Law. I do think zev may have a point- some belief in G-d seems to be required.
Umm, zev: come back, reb- help this poor ignorant gentile.

Us Celtic Christians beleive that unrepentant sinners will go to Hell- until they TRULY repent, which should not be very long, IMHO. There is some thought that the TRULY evil will be incapable of repentance- ie folks like Hitler will burn (or freeze) forever- or close to it. Based on this thought, Hell will be rather short on “lifers”.

How would being cuf off from God preclude happiness? Atheists, on average, don’t seem to be unusually unhappy.

Personally, I don’t see what many aspects of Jewish ideology (circumcision, dietary law, etc.) have to do with leading an ethical life, but then again, I’m one of those folks who believes that one doesn’t need religion of any kind to lead an ethical life.

*Originally posted by RoboDude *

Well, on a personal level, I might be able to provide an insight.

Keeping kosher (to take one of the examples you gave) is an exercise in self-control. I know, for example, that I can’t just eat anything that crosses my path. I may be hungry, but unless I know it is kosher, I know that my desires and wants will just have to wait a bit longer for what I believe to me “the greater good.” Learning self-control does help one to become a better person.

Of course, such reasoning cannot apply to some of the mitzvos, nor am I asserting that learning self-control is the reason for the laws of kashrus. I’m sure one can lead a perfectly ethical life while eating pork every day of his life. But, hopefully RoboDude, this will give you one Jew’s perspective on the matter.

Zev Steinhardt

Once again, the JewFAQ provides some help:

I remember a Rebbe telling me that, in the Afterlife, sinners were forced to confront their misdeeds for a period of time not to exceed one year. So, as far as that concept goes, Hell is merely a period of extreme shame. (FWIW)