Many of the Hebrew scriptures are the same as the Old Testament - are they not? If I recall from my church-going days, the OT has many references to an afterlife.
It seems like the Reform movement in modern Judaism is very liberal and humanistic. A Reform Jew I once knew told me that when he dies, part of him will live on in his descendants, but he has no eternal soul.
What a sad, empty belief system...
Before the atheist and "diveresity is god" freepers arrive here, let me say this: No one alive on this Earth will ever prove or disprove the existence of a God, Heaven, hell, or an eternal soul - But in the END we will find out who is right and who is wrong, won't we?
The act of finding out implies an existence in which right and wrong can be contemplated. I reject that premise.
Why would you act in such a small way as to attack someone's beliefs by calling them "sad and empty" without provocation? One could reasonably conclude that you have a sad and empty conscious for doing so.
And on Sunday morning,
That's is pitiful. Spend some time with your minister.
I do not know about heaven or hell, but the existence of God is much more evident, at least through indirect observations (much like a black hole can be "seen" by its effects). Pascal's wager approaches this, but Pascal was wrong because probability and statistics are makers of false theories and poorly indicate what to do, what tool to use.
Looking at the dark past of tyrannies, we can see that whenever liberty and progress occured, it was when those tyrannies mysteriously vanished. Whether it is the dinausors, huge beasts that frail people could not compete with, Pharoh against the Jews, or a tattered bunch of militia soldiers attacking a world power like England, there is no way that good would have been able to wrestle itself from the undying grip of evil by itself.
Even the US Declaration makes God implicit. The balance of powers of the US constitution in fact is proof positive that slavery and evil comes from our dependence on Earthly powers that evil can leverage against us. Hence we balance the powers against each other, hence evil competes for us against other evils, we are free. Under God would hence mean just that: not enslaved to earthly powers that leverage us. Denying the under God principle would in fact violate the separation of church and state, because then we would live under secular powers and theories that would be both used for religious belief and government.
Nevertheless, the church itself exerts powers of its own, hence the church should also play a part in the competition of powers out there, hence the freedom of religion should flourish. But in the end, the nation knows what slavery means and that stating things in the name of God amounts to blasphemer, again, implicitly respecting the existence of God.
Judaism is no stranger to the omnipotence of God, hence heaven and hell are implicitly open questions in Judaism, but they are certainly not the central issue. In fact the actions of Elijah are proof that there is another world in the OT. Elijah never died, he went to heaven directly on a chariot while alive.
The central issue in Judaism is found in the Tohra when God demands the Jews to give Him the benefit of the doubt while walking in the desert. But they seldom do, hence he fries them on a regular basis as they attempt to extort from Him goods. If God can do us good on this Earth, help us flee Egypt as was witnessed, maintain our clothes (they never tore and were intact even after 40 years), certainly we owe God one. It is a matter of qualification, not merit. Enjoyment is found in serving God, not in well being, and maybe not even in hopes of heaven (hope is a lack of faith in God), if not we would be slaves to well being, and not free.
Indeed, we are free when we show our persecutors that we will not repent to them, while we openly repent to those we persecute, no matter the consequences of that. In sickness or in health, strong or weak, doing what is right, asking our enemy to repent while he persecutes us, is the only real freedom there is, because it is an action independent of Earthly powers, it is true faith.
It's not a matter of belief, that is one big misunderstanding by non-Jews. Let me give you an example. That keyboard in front of you -- do you believe in it? I'll tell ya, why bother ... whether you believe in it or not it is still there. That's the way it is with Jews and G-d.
The first commandment is not "Believe in G-d", it is "I am your G-d." Period. No belief necessary, and belief gets in the way, for people are prone to make their beliefs follow the inclination of their hearts, their whimsies, their impulses, all removing them from experiencing the real thing.
A very interesting statement.
"For by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God"....
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"....
"For without faith it is impossible to please God"....
"For he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him"....