How is the Afterlife understood in Jewish Thought? The Institute's National Scholar Rabbi Hayyim Angel has written and lectured on how the Afterlife features in the Tanakh.
You can listen to Rabbi Hayyim Angel's lecture "Afterlife in Jewish Thought and Ramifications for Today."
Rabbi Hayyim Angel has also written an essay on "Afterlife in Jewish Thought." Here is an excerpt:
There is a paucity of explicit references to afterlife—whether a bodily resurrection or a soul world—in Tanakh. The Torah promises this-worldly rewards and punishments for faithfulness or lack thereof to God and the Torah. It does not promise heaven for righteousness, nor does it threaten hell or the absence of heaven for sinfulness. Given the ancient world’s belief in, and even obsession with immortality and afterlife, the Torah’s silence is all the more remarkable.
Aside from the lack of explicit references to afterlife in the Torah, one might have expected an appeal to afterlife in the Book of Job. For all the arguments raised by Job’s so-called friends, they never invoke afterlife in their attempts to vindicate Job’s unfair suffering. Rather, Job and his friends agree with the biblical premise that ultimate justice must occur during one’s lifetime. Job insisted that his suffering was unjust, whereas his friends assumed that he must have deserved his punishment. Continue reading