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Isn’t it cruel for G-d to deny certain souls access to the World-to-Come?

by Rabbi Moshe Miller

  

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It is not that G-d destroys a person; it is the person who destroys her/himself. Admission to a higher form of existence is not granted automatically—one has to earn it. Is a college degree from Harvard (or anywhere else) granted automatically just because you enrolled? Don’t you have to pass certain exams? I certainly would not want to be treated by a “doctor” who got his degree by mail from some fake organization without passing the exams. Is this cruel? I don’t think so. These are the rules of the game, and it is a level playing field.

It should be noted, however, that there are two different stages, both of which are referred to as the World to Come. There is Gan Eden (Paradise, Heaven), to which the soul returns after death, and there is Techiyat Hameitim, Resurrection of the Dead, that will take place after the coming of the Messiah. While not every soul is privileged to enjoy the pleasures of Gan Eden, every Jewish soul will take part in the Resurrection, the ultimate reward.


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This is still vague

Posted by: Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA on Apr 24, 2006

Two things remain vague. One, what crime(s) qualify one person for such a denial? Two, does the soul cease to exist upon being denied the world to come? In other words, does the soul remain concious even after being unable to go to earth in the world to come?

Editor's Comment

a) Some examples of people who are denied entry to the World to Come: 1) Heretics 2) One who sins not due to temptation, but only to anger G-d. 3) Those who cause the public to sin. 4) One who imposes fear on the public for selfish reasons. b) The sould continues to exist and is fully conscious of its punishment.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Death » Afterlife
Philosophy » Afterlife

Gan Eden
The Garden of Eden. A garden in Mesopotamia where Adam and Eve were placed after creation. They were expelled from the idyllic garden after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Gan Eden also refers to a spiritual realm where the soul receives its reward after departing from the body.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.