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What Happens When We Die?
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I know that Judaism focuses on the here and now more so than on what happens when we die.
However, I am sometimes asked what, if anything, Noachides believe happens when we die. I have thought about it for years, and over the years collected bits and fragments of teachings, which information I have compiled into a short "stock answer." I once posted it on a Yahoo Group, and another poster asked, "Is this even Judaism?" to which the Rabbi replied, "Yes. It is."
At least, that's what I THINK he was referring to.
Now I am a member of this forum, I can ask again, and either accept any corrections you may offer, scrap the entire piece in favor of whatever you offer, or remain satisfied that, at least on a superficial level, what I have here is okay for Noachides to believe.

Quote:I am not Jewish, but I believe the following scenario, which I have been told does reflect Torah teachings. Feel free to reject it; it's not my business to convince you. However, you may want to consult your local Orthodox Rabbi.

I believe that we all, at the moment of death, good and evil, Jew or Gentile, approach the Presence of G-d, where our lives are reviewed, and our mitzvoth and unrepented sins are recounted. We are rewarded measure for measure, and punished, measure for measure. To my mind, there can be no greater reward for a righteous person than to experience the Divine Presence of the Merciful and Beneficent G-d. Likewise, there can be no greater punishment for a sinner, than to be in the Presence of the same Just and Angry G-d, Who saw all we've ever done, the "reasons" we comforted ourselves with to explain to ourselves why were did what we were doing, and how feeble they really are in the light of G-d's Omniscience and Justice.

The Mitzvoth we have carried out because G-d has commanded them (according to what may apply to each individual), we are rewarded for. Psalm 84:11 says, "For the L-rd G-d is a sun and shield; the L-rd bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly."

The sins we have committed (according to what may apply to each individual), but have not repented of, are stripped away from us if we have enough merit, in a process that can (to my mind) only be painful to us, as far as I know. Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Perhaps this is the "fire and flame" some "near-death experience" claimants report?) This is because G-d is a Righteous G-d, and sins cannot stand in His Presence. But G-d is also Merciful, and He wouldn't let His righteous servants spend an eternity "wailing and gnashing their teeth" over the sins they committed in a few short years on Earth. They have earned merit, or they wouldn't be "righteous," so I believe they (the sins) are what is expelled from the Presence, and not the entire soul. I look at the procedure sort of like a scouring.

If you haven't done many mitzvoth, you may not get to enjoy the Divine Presence, or you may be reincarnated back on Earth, where you can correct the errors you made, and/or carry out more mitzvoth, so as to enjoy the Presence more fully, and/or to suffer for your sins on Earth, and not have to "suffer" for them in the spiritual realm. A third case would be where the soul has no redeeming merits at all after an adult life on Earth (an extreme case), and does not merit any reward at all. Those souls are snuffed out like a candle’s flame.

We know the concept of an unjust "Hell" is false, and we find that in the offshoot religions from Judaism. The Torah-based system I believe in allows the punishment of the unrepentant sins, but survival of the soul, and none of your fellow companions, who may have knowledge of your actions on Earth, would begrudge you your reward that is due to you for your good deeds and your observance of your commandments.
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Messages In This Thread
What Happens When We Die? - by Mattityahu ben Noach - 04-29-2009, 01:27 AM
RE: What Happens When We Die? - by Pianohero - 09-16-2009, 09:12 AM
RE: What Happens When We Die? - by Pianohero - 09-18-2009, 11:49 AM
RE: What Happens When We Die? - by iCamokazi - 10-24-2015, 05:51 AM
RE: What Happens When We Die? - by zenonzyta01 - 10-02-2009, 08:43 PM

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