I agree the question seems stupid, but hear out my logic:

  1. We all are promised to get a share in the world to come (WTC), and acc. to Rabbinical interpretation, even Kareth can't take that away.

  2. In this world, we tremendously suffer our detachment from G-d and His seeming absence (הסתר פנים).

  3. Even ones that sin with a death penalty, can repent and eventually enjoy the WTC.

  4. This world is anyway only a mean (a corridor) to get to the final destination (WTC) we should all rush to arrive.

  5. Assuming, we're G-d's servants: Since there are no physical enjoyments in the WTC, the idea of a "larger" share of it or "better" or "higher" share is meaningless to me to justify the collection of rewards for the Mitzvos in this world.

  6. Assuming, we're G-d's sons (or B"Z): if the reward is G-d's love, it is meaningless to envy to others as long as G-d loves us (just as siblings in a family or the traditional polygamy).

Now, in our imagination, death is associated with illnesses and physical pain, which most people suffer on the way or with the idea of suffering in Hell (very vague), but both are temporary, and it is sure worth the eternal (?!) pleasure.

Of course, there are many verses that prescribe us to choose life - "ובחרת בחיים" - but the other world is also called "ארץ חיים".

THis might sound crazy, but the best algorithm of living this life might be committing a capital sin at 13, being sentenced and repent - no punishment for the sins until 13 and the only sin is executed - one is free to go straight to Eden.

I understand that the Sages were obsessed with the idea of the reward (and punishment) so that wasn't a question for them, but I wonder whether the later Rabbis speculate on this issue, considering specifically #4 and 5?

1 Answer 1


Avot 4:17

הוא היה אומר יפה שעה אחת בתשובה ומעשים טובים בעולם הזה מכל חיי העולם הבא

He used to say: "One moment of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than all of the life in the world to come".

This is presumably because while in this world you can arrange for the world to come to be better.

  • that's exactly what I meant by "the Sages were obsessed with the idea of the reward (and punishment) so that wasn't a question for them", reward-wase it is, but otherwise it seems meaningless. So your answer does not really answer #4 and 5
    – Al Berko
    Oct 26, 2019 at 23:25
  • Also, please don't limit yourself to the quotes, please add some of your personal thoughts
    – Al Berko
    Oct 26, 2019 at 23:26
  • See edit. I think that answers #4.
    – Alex
    Oct 26, 2019 at 23:29
  • @Alex -- Doesn't the rest of the quote balance the first half, and make your point less compelling? Oct 26, 2019 at 23:36
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    @MauriceMizrahi I think the second half is in perfect sync with the first half. If you prepare properly in this world for the world to come then the world to come will be much better than this world. But the first priority needs to be to prepare properly in this world.
    – Alex
    Oct 26, 2019 at 23:38

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