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*Edited and amended from the Jewish & Foolish Board*


"From a theological perspective, what happens after death?"


This question perhaps is better answered by a rabbi,priest or minister, but let me attempt an answer.


Let me preclude my statement with the simple fact that I have read the English translation of the Torah and the Holy Bible in their entirety. I've read excerpts from the Holy Qur'an and studied Ancient Egyptian religion, the tribal religions of Africa and limited articles on Hindu and Buddhism. Of recent I have read a lot about the Middle East. I plan further study and have numerous books on the radar screen.

I was raised in a small midwest town by loving parents without an affluency I now am fortunate to enjoy. My mother a Presbyterian converted over to my father's more conservative protestant faith of Methodist. I don't know if she actually had to go through any formalities as such I did. I was raised in this protestant faith,baptised and confirmed at the age of twelve.

I had little contact with Jewish people but was fortunate to have a Jewish family just across the ally from my backyard. Soon their son David and I became friends and remain to this day. From him I discovered bagels and this interesting dialect known as Yiddish.

As time went by I met my future wife who happened to be Jewish. It was then I discovered that Judaism was essentially either Orthodox, Conservative,Reform and Reconstructionist. She was Conservative and so at the bequest of her mother, decided to convert to a faith in which the precepts were entrenched in the Old Testament. Like the Catholic faith, and all the protestant denominations such as Baptist, Quaker etc where the parking lots were full on Easter and Christmas, I soon discovered the synagogue lots also full twice a year during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Not long ago a colleague of my were discussing all the killing of late by the ideologues of hate and in my opinion their perversion of Islam. To which he says to me "I believe in God, but not religion." I suppose this is the classic definition of what an Agnostic would be.

In many ways I feel this way too and have not become a big fan of specific religious ideology, unique to a particular faith. While I was a Methodist I admired the Episcopalians, and now that I'm a Conservative Jew I find equal disenfranchisement in the same way as before. I just can't see an absolute as often proclaimed in any of the aforementioned religious faiths. The precepts are all correct but fail in their limited summation to encompass the whole. No one particular denomination is absolute and therefore... incomplete, and to me unrewarding.

Both faiths as I'm sure most faiths and denominations in these religions are pure in intent, and noble in constitution, but I think because of humanity we can only attain a physical level below our omnipotent Creator in this world. Spirituality is another thing entirely.

GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY.

I have the luxury of seeing Christianity and Judaism from many views and can concur that neither have an exclusive on the path to what lies beyond our mortality. Each and everyone of us has an appointment with death. And in the Jewish tradition I feel relieved that we should celebrate one's life as a gift from God and that if we lived virtuously, we might ascend into that eternal temple.

Ironically, as the media often tries to divide people by religion and race, I find the most profound answer to your question in the Christian New Testament from the 2nd chapter of Romans. It states that those, who by their deeds do good, will have eternal life, "THE JEW FIRST, AND THEN THE GREEK." It also adresses those who are factious, "THE JEW FIRST AND THEN THE GREEK." Their conclusion does not include eternal life. Whether it simply stops existing, or reverts to some kind of hell is obviously subject to theological debate. It says in the good book that God created everything for a purpose, even the evil for the day of doom. I would like to think that once they die, then their existance after life is nonexistant. I wish permanent anquish on no one beyond this life.

Occasionally the more extreme Christian makes the false proposition that anyone who doesn't accept Christ as their Saviour, will not be blessed with eternal life, some believing eternal damnation, sometimes referred to as fire and brimstone. There is a New Testament passage which does proclaim this as the only way to get to heaven, yet when you read the passage you will notice an asterisk which at the bottom claims "or from above."

The solution to this is simple. If or when Jesus does appear, let's asked him if he was here before.

And then what about all the folks born before Muhammad, Jesus or Moses? I am convinced the creator weighs the heart from the begining of time to eternity. Black space. Scientifically explained undefinable spiritually in our lives. Where did it begin and is there an end? I think not. The more I know the less I understand.

In conclusion, I have to proclaim my belief in life everafter. One doesn't have to look beyond the horrific video of those who leaped out of the Twin Towers, or perished in the Holocaust,the killing fields of Pol Pot or a friend or family member in the throws of terminal cancer to realize how precious life can be. Did they choose their destiny? I am convinced that these unfortuante people ascended to a permanent blissful place far beyond this earthly plain regardless of their particular religious affiliation.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."

regards
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