What’s the difference?
concept of heaven
or Olam Haba is different
from the Christian
concept of heaven for many reasons the main one, in my opinion, being that eventually everyone gets into Jewish heaven after compensating for their sins, including non-Jews.
Paying for thy sins!
The way that people compensate
for their sins is going to hell
, but don’t worry it’s not permanent. The length of your stay in hell is relative to how good or bad you were when you were alive. So if you were good you might be able to bypass it and if you were really bad you might have to stay there for a maximum of 12 months.
So what’s hell like?
The Jewish concept of hell unlike the Christian concept of hell does not include devils
with pitchforks. The Jewish concept of hell is best explained by the following legend
Hell is a giant movie theater with only you and God sitting in the audience and the movie playing is a movie of your entire life. God watches all your good deeds and bad deeds and the embarrassment of God seeing everything you have done wrong is punishment enough.
OK so I’m done with hell where to now?
After a grueling trip to hell you will arrive at heaven and they say that a second in heaven feels as good as all the goodness you experienced when you were alive combined. I will describe heaven with the following legend:
Heaven is a big Yeshiva (school) and the teacher is God. The position of your seat in the classroom is relative to how good or bad you were when you were alive. So if you were really good you can get a front row seat for God’s lessons and if you were really bad you might get stuck in the back.
Right now your probably thinking WTF I live my whole damn life only to end up back in that horrid place but don’t worry it’s just a legend not a definite fact. However, the pleasure that you get in heaven is relative to how good or bad you were in life this is best described by the following legend:
There are two heavens, one for the good people and one for the bad people, and both of them are exactly the same. In the heavens there is a huge all you can eat buffet with every type of food that could possibly exist the only catch is that instead of arms all the people in heaven have unbendable meter long forks. As you can imagine it would be very difficult to get food in your mouth if you had meter long forks instead of arms. In the heaven for the bad people the people are all starving trying to put food in their mouths but in the heaven for the good people the people are so used to being good that they feed each other.
Yes, that’s it. Once you’re in heaven you can’t change seats in God's classroom unless the people who knew you that are still alive , by doing good in your memory or by sitting Shiva
(mourning you), get you brownie points with God. So make sure you teach your kids to give lots of charity