Published October-12-07
Ask Rabbi Dan
by Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  Issue: 8.09
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Do Jewish people go to heaven, and if so, do they meet others they knew in life in a recognizable form?

Jewish belief is that heaven exists and is referred to as "the next world", "olum hazeh", and "gan eden-paradise". We do not believe in hell. However, we do belief in a "cleansing period" before getting into heaven IF that person has sinned. The 11 months after the passing of a loved one is intended as that transition.

Meeting "people" in heaven is a whole other issue...once the body is shed, the deceased is no longer a part of the "people world" and, therefore, becomes the pure energy from which it came into form in the first place. Form disintegrates and decomposes after physical death. Energy, which cannot be destroyed remains ever present and can be "felt" or experienced" by other energy. Therefore, the "next world" is one of energy that is becoming more and more pure until, ultimately, it merges with it's creator.

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