The last perek of Sanhedrin lists some people who have no share in Olam Haba. Other people who forfeit their share are discussed in the answers to this question: No Olam Habah for these?

My question is: What happens to those people who don't have a portion in Olam Haba? Do they stay in Gehenom? Disappear? Something else?


2 Answers 2


Me'iri explains that they go directly to Gehenom. According the Rambam Ramban, after death you either go to Gan Eden or Gehenom. At the time of the final judgment it is decided if you go to Olam Haba, these people do not stop for judgment but remain in Gehenom so as not to increase their punishment. Yad Ramah's explanation is similar to the Ramban but says the reason they do not stand in judgment is that they already had their punishment here and should not be further punished.

See this link for further explanation of these opinions.

  • 1
    @vram, good edit. Also, Morah, are you sure Ramban holds it's to avoid increasing punishment that ppl in Gehinom don't stand for judgment? It sounds from the article like it's a byproduct of the fact their punishment isn't interrupted, not like that's the reason. (I haven't seen the Ramban inside.)
    – Seth J
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 6:09
  • The wicked souls, according to Rambam simply cease to exist.
    – Turk Hill
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 4:31

The Rambam explains, in line with his explanation of what Kares is, that they are cut off from their own spiritual component, and they remain physical. When the physical world comes to an end (as it will, in the Rambam's world), these people will end with it. They have no connection to spirituality, as they have chosen to involve themselves and invest in physical pleasures and endeavors, and therefore they are cut off from spiritual existence. When Olam Haba, which is a purely spiritual/intellectual experience according to the Rambam, comes, they will have no way to experience it and will cease to exist.

Rambam Teshuva 8:5

הנקמה שאין נקמה גדולה ממנה--שתיכרת הנפש ולא תזכה לאותן החיים, שנאמר "היכרת תיכרת הנפש ההיא, עוונה בה" (במדבר טו,לא). וזה האובדן הוא שקוראין אותו הנביאים דרך משל, באר שחת ואבדון ותופתה ועלוקה; וכל לשון כליה והשחתה קוראין לו, לפי שהיא הכליה שאין אחריה תקומה לעולם וההפסד שאינו חוזר לעולם

Rambam Intro to Perek Chelek (Shilat translation):

הנה כל מי שדבק בתענוגים הגופניים ומאס באמת ובחר בשקר, נכרת מאותה מעלה וישאר חמר נכרת בלבד

Those who do not have a portion in Olam Haba cease to exist.

  • But see seforim.blogspot.com/2010/09/… Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 3:57
  • @Matt it's a complicated issue, but I think there are two "stages" of "hell" under discussion. Where you go when you die and where you go at the end of the world. While even that isn't so simple in the Rambam, I think a lot of that discussion is about the former. I'm oversimplifying, but this is a comment after all. Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 4:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .