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What Happens When We Die?
#1
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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#2
Thank you for sharing this explanation with us! I don't see anything that's incorrect, bearing in mind that our human conception and description of the spiritual realm is based on physical analogies, and what a soul experiences there can't be exactly the same as what we are capable of conceiving of.
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#3
Director Michael Wrote:Thank you for sharing this explanation with us! I don't see anything that's incorrect, bearing in mind that our human conception and description of the spiritual realm is based on physical analogies, and what a soul experiences there can't be exactly the same as what we are capable of conceiving of.

Pretty much, the whole thing was incorrect (with all due respect) if we are talking about a strict Biblical basis. The Tenach never mentions anything that soudns like an "immortal soul" , or a punishment after death . In fact, the pagans are the ones that believed these things (immortal soul, alive in death etc) , ie the egyptian, the greeks, etc . If there is no physical resurrection ,then there is no "afterlife" since by definition, a dead person being alive is an oxymoron. The definition of "dead" or "death" isnt "still alive and conscious in spirit form" , but rather "not alive" . When people die, they are dead according to the Tenach . This is why it appears that the Tenach "is more concerned with this life and now" , because this physical life is the only one we have. Even if there would be an "afterlife" , it would have to be a physical life again
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#4
Pianohero Wrote:Pretty much, the whole thing was incorrect (with all due respect) if we are talking about a strict Biblical basis. The Tenach never mentions anything that soudns like an "immortal soul" , or a punishment after death . In fact, the pagans are the ones that believed these things (immortal soul, alive in death etc) , ie the egyptian, the greeks, etc . If there is no physical resurrection ,then there is no "afterlife" since by definition, a dead person being alive is an oxymoron. The definition of "dead" or "death" isnt "still alive and conscious in spirit form" , but rather "not alive" . When people die, they are dead according to the Tenach. This is why it appears that the Tenach "is more concerned with this life and now" , because this physical life is the only one we have. Even if there would be an "afterlife" , it would have to be a physical life again

"With all due respect," your claim that the Tanach never mentions anything about a soul that continues to live after the death of the body is incorrect. Samuel I 28:3 states very clearly, "Samuel had died and all Israel eulogized him and buried him in Ramah, in his home town." The chapter then goes on to recount in 28:8-19 that King Saul went to a necromancer, and at his request, she called up the living soul of Samuel, who conversed with King Saul, and delivered to him a prophecy of his impending defeat.

Furthermore, there are numerous references in Tanach to the physical resurrection of the righteous in the Era of the World to Come (i.e., the return of the living soul to the recreated body). For example, the resurrection is mentioned in the Books of the Prophets, and it is one of the 13 Fundamental Principle of the Torah. For a listing and discussion of the source verses in the Five Books of Moses, see Tractate Sanhedrin, Chapter Cheilek, p. 90a and following (which deals at length with the verse Isaiah 60:21).
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#5
If that was actually Samuel, then that verse would contradict the rest of the Bible. If Samuel was alive wherever he was, then it isn't true that the dead cannot praise G-d, since if Samuel was still conscious, he would still be able to praise G-d.
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#6
You are misinterpreting Psalms 115:17, which says, " 'The dead' do not praise G-d, nor any who 'descend into silence'." It remains to explain who are "the dead" and those who "descend into silence" that the verse is referring to. It's telling that you picked on that verse to try to prove your false claim, because the very next verse disproves your claim. Psalms 115:18 says, "But WE will bless G-d from NOW TO ETERNITY; praise G-d!" "We" in that verse obviously includes the author, King David, and he includes along with himself all other righteous people, for all time. The righteous praise G-d during their physical lives, and they continue to do so eternally, which INCLUDES the temporary period of time during which the physical body dies, while the living soul of the deceased righteous person continues to praise G-d, as the verse proves. So "deceased" only means that G-d has willed the life-giving living soul to separate from its enclothement in the physical body.

Therefore the verse Psalms 115:17 that you cited can't literally refer to all deceased people, as the next verse proves. Instead, 115:17 speaks euphemistically about the wicked who, even while physically alive, are referred to as "dead" by the Hebrew Prophets, because the wicked are confused with alien thoughts while they are steeped in their wickedness, they don't praise G-d, and they do not desire to repent - i.e., they do not desire to merit eternal life for their soul.
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#7
Hi all,

This information is not my or anyone else's opinion. It is what people report across cultures and across time report as happening, when they have near-death-experiences, or out-of-the-body experiences. This is what we would expect to happen on death.

* The person goes outside his or her body and operates in much the same way they did with a body except they have full psychic abilities. They can go where they will simply by thinking.
* They meet a guide.
* They pass through a tunnel.
* They encounter a being a great light and joy.
* The experience a life review.
* They receive knowledge
* They may be reborn

At first, the person might not realise they are dead, and try to do things or communicate with people but are not able to do so. They may notice that when they try to touch someone, their hands move through them. They may float above their body and view it, perhaps without strong emotion. After a while, they realise they are dead and may meet a loving guide who takes them to another place.

They may travel through a tunnel at vast speed and experiencing greate joy and exhileration. At the end of the tunnel they may come upon a city, perhaps one of shining crystal. Their they encounter a great loving life force.

They then experience a life review, where they examine their life in minute detail and judge how they have succeeded in attaining their goals for that life. The beings doing the life review may do so without judgment or evaluation of what the being has done.

After the life review, the being has the choice of being reincarnated either into the current body, as in a near-death-experience or in another body.
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#8
Thank you for posting this compilation of various things that various people have reported from near-death experiences. I would just comment that not everyone who had a near-death experience has reported every item on this list, and some have reported parts of their experience that aren't on this list. A recommended book on this subject is "Soul Searching," by Yaakov Astor, pub. Targum Press, '03.
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#9
Quote:"With all due respect," your claim that the Tanach never mentions anything about a soul that continues to live after the death of the body is incorrect. Samuel I 28:3 states very clearly, "Samuel had died and all Israel eulogized him and buried him in Ramah, in his home town." The chapter then goes on to recount in 28:8-19 that King Saul went to a necromancer, and at his request, she called up the living soul of Samuel, who conversed with King Saul, and delivered to him a prophecy of his impending defeat.
So does this mean that magic exists? Necromancy IS a form of magic and so does it exist? I've wondered this for a long time.
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#10
(10-24-2015, 05:51 AM)iCamokazi Wrote:
Quote:"With all due respect," your claim that the Tanach never mentions anything about a soul that continues to live after the death of the body is incorrect. Samuel I 28:3 states very clearly, "Samuel had died and all Israel eulogized him and buried him in Ramah, in his home town." The chapter then goes on to recount in 28:8-19 that King Saul went to a necromancer, and at his request, she called up the living soul of Samuel, who conversed with King Saul, and delivered to him a prophecy of his impending defeat.
So does this mean that magic exists? Necromancy IS a form of magic and so does it exist? I've wondered this for a long time.

The simple answer to your question is that yes, it does exist, and it is a practice that is forbidden to do. Jews are explicitly commanded, as part of their 613 commandments, not to practice such things. For Gentiles, see "The Divine Code," Part II, ch. 11, titled "Practices that are Forbidden as Customs of Idol Worshipers," which begins as follows (p. 241):

"Just as Gentiles are forbidden to practice idol worship itself, so too they are forbidden to go in the customary ways of those who serve idols. These are ways and schemes in which the idol worshipers conduct themselves, that are connected to and strengthen their beliefs.
The following are customary roles among those who worship idols: a magician, a diviner, a soothsayer, a witch, a charmer, a medium, a wizard or a necromancer. All these, even when they do not actually include idol worship in their practices, are branches of idolatrous services, and they cause and bring a person to serve idols."

https://asknoah.org/books/the-divine-code

Note: Just doing slight-of-hand "magic tricks" for people's entertainment (which everyone knows is not real magic) is not included in this prohibition
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