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Note: I have retracted my proof from the Gemara in Sanhedrin 92a,b. I explain my newfound understanding in my comments to Deuteronomy's Answer.

First post here. I'll keep this as short as I can. I have Apeirophobia. Check it up (There's virtually no medical recorded information about this phobia historically, and its (granted, rare) occurrence among people like me, seems to be a completely modern phenomenon. In my opinion, it's less a "fear" than it is a truly warranted terrible "dread" of the existential possibility of eternity. There is much mention throughout the Torah and Rabbinic Literature about "Olam Va'ed" and "Netzach Netzachim" implying that the Afterlife or Days of Mashiach will last forever/never end. However, I know of two sources which seem to imply we will not exist a truly "never-ever-ending existence".

a) Adon Olam prayer: "V'achrei kichlos hakol, levado yimloch norah." - "And after the termination of everything, He (God) alone will rule awesomely." Edit: I simply don't see an interpretation of these words through the vague (and controversial?) Kabbalistic concept of a perfect world and God being one as fitting with the words. It clearly says, "after the finishing of everything" (contextually referring to the creation of any form). According to the kabbalistic interpretation nothing is finished, if anything it only reached the climax! Actually, as I write I am realizing that the word "Kichlos" might not necessarly refer to "termination" as I wrote above. Maybe it just means "completion"! Still, even so it would not work with the simple meaning of the verse since the word "Levado"-"Alone" isn't the point according to the Kabbalistic understanding. The point is "As one". Lastly, the words from the immediately preceding verse: "L'eis naaso becheftzo kol, azay melech shemo nikra." - "At a time when everything is done (obviously not in the termination sense) through his will, then 'King' his name we will call." those words seem to be referencing the climax of existence, the time when everything will be brought to its final purpose. There it seems more appropriate to apply the Kabbalistic interpretation.

b) One of the Ani Maamins: "Ani... Shehaborei yisborach shemo, hu rishon, vehu achron." - "I believe... That the creator blessed be his name, he is first, and he is last." This seems to imply that only God is actually eternal in its ultimate sense. (Interestingly, the Rambam doesn't mention the "last" aspect in his original formulation of the 13 principles. Edit: According to the simple understanding of this Ani Maamin, the "being the first" should perfectly contrast the "being the last". I think it's certain that the meaning of "first" is even pre- the Kabbalistic unified existence of God. And I suppose the average Kabbalist would agree to there having been such a time. In that case, it should be assumed that the "Last" means The same thing. This is also clear from another perspective. Just look at the declaration as a whole. It is quite clearly declaring the Existence of God, absent of ANY OTHER existence, both pre other beings and post other beings!

Also, though I can't point to anything off-hand, I believe that regardless of the subject of "eternity of the afterlife", there are numerous places in the Torah where it says "leolam va'ed" and according to the simple explanation it doesn't actually mean "true eternity".

Lastly, we know of the din "Moridin v'lo maalin" - "Being placed in hell and never lifted out of it, even after 12 months" which applies to heretics and certain other cases. Regardless of the basic argument from Apeirophobia, since God judges "midah k'neged midah" - measure for measure, wouldn't actual eternal/never-ever-ending hell be disproportionate to sin which is finite? Or maybe denying God/who is infinite, is considered an infinite sin? This thought can make me tremble to floor and go insane. I can't imagine anyone suffering for all eternity, even someone like Hi*ler yemach shemo. People don't get just how long eternity really is! It actually NEVER ends!

Please offer your insights.

Edit: I am now going to add some material of my own in regard to what Judaism says about this subject.

First there's Rebbe Nechman. One of Rebbe Nachman's most common themes is the concept of Lemailah MeHaZman. I am not sure exactly what he means by it, and there may even be slightly conflicting implications here and there, but an actual fundamentally different type of existence is definitely one simple way of understanding Rebbe Nachman's words. This view seems to be backed up by his brutal slamming of time in our world. He explains that the wiser one becomes the more they realize that time is inherently deficient.

Secondly, there's evidence (which I reinforce above) from Adon Olam and the Ani Maamin that there will be an end.

Third, I was very suprised to discover that there is actually only a handful of times (less than ten I believe) in the entire TaNaCH, that it's written "Leolam Va'ed"! I thought it was in the hundreds! I didn't have time to study them yet but half or so of them are in psalms, which to my poor knowledge MIGHT allow for excusing the words as "poetic depictions of all of time" (but not actual never-ending time).

Fourth, when it comes to all discussion of what will be in the end of days, the Rambam in, I believe to remember, his commentary on the Mishnayos, says that all opinions about how things will be in the "End of Days" are merely opinions. That is, he says that even the things that the Gemara says are not guaranteed!

Fifth, God's ultimate name YKVK, is the combination of his most distinguishing characteristic. Always was, is and always will be. This theme permeates through the entire Torah. I think that to say that us souls will live eternally, possibly takes away from the uniqueness of God in that respect.

That's enough for now, I may add more soon, but I think this is enough to indicate that it may not be so "clear" that eternity is a fact in Judaism.

Edit: Another proof is from the Gemarah in Chagigah 11b. It says 'One who thinks about what is above the world, what is below, what was before and what will be after, it's better that he never came to the world." This clearly seems to indicate an end.

You may ask what about the psukim which use the word "Netzach"? Well, what does Netzach mean exactly I ask back? Well, I tell you that what I do know is that the word is not intended to mean a literal eternity. I know this because many psukim use the word in context of complaining to God about "never-ending" suffering or lack of judgement! That can't be literal! Also, there's a pasuk comparing the eternity of the righteous to the stars. If eternity is literally "never-ending" then that's a really weak comparison. We know stars die. Even after they turn into a black hole they slowly evaporate. See link https://www.stsci.edu/~marel/black_holes/encyc_mod3_q10.html#:~:text=Since%20nothing%20can%20escape%20from,their%20energy%20to%20the%20Universe. and https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2020/03/24/sorry-stephen-hawking-but-every-black-hole-is-still-growing-not-decaying/?sh=39113c8ad567

New Edit: It's worth noting that I just discovered that the Rambam himself in the Moreh 2:13 writes that time itself was created by God!

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 14:12
  • One legitimate fear of Hashem is His ratzon. Keter, His ratzon, is called the Or Ein Sof. Torah and mitzvot are His ratzon. Bishvil Yisrael - we are His inner ratzon. It is ein sof. That's scary.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 1:09

4 Answers 4

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Without getting involved in the theological discussion, I used to have the same fear. What helped me is that this fear comes from being a time-based creation in a physical time-based existence. Similar to the fear of the vastness of space or whatever else is so beyond our limitations and comprehensions. Whereas in the next world we won't be timebound physical beings, so it won't be a problem. Eternity won't be a billion years then another bazillion etc, it will just be us being. I was taught the pleasure of the reward will not be something we get used to but keep its intensity (at least), which to me seems to mean there won't be time. And it will be completely normal, we just can't comprehend it because it's not our world.

I apologize if this is what you meant above by lemaleh mezman.

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Hi Ayal welcome to Mi Yodeya.

My other answer was geared towards a general fear of eternal punishment, as well as hint at the fact that the truth of our eternity is more complicated than we think. I'd like to elaborate a little bit more on that latter point in this answer.

The fact of the matter is, time is just a creation by Hashem. There are sources that state it is a necessary creation for Hashem's plan. When Moshiach comes, time will "stop", it will be eternal present.

Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz in Shenei Luchot Haberit (Asarah Maamarot, 1 40B-41A) writes:

A common perception.... is that God created everything out of absolute nothingness... and that in the beginning of creation, God imparted to the hosts of heaven [i.e. the forces of nature] the power and ability to run the world... The world thus operates according to its manner, as if God has let go of His creation; it is only that occasionally God may desire to override. But as long as God does not override it, the world urns on the power it obtained at the time of creation.

But the true fath... is that God "in His goodness renews each day, constantly, the first act of creation," actively directing His flow of vitality. Should God cease to do so for even an instant, all would be as naught; it's existence would be utterly nullified.

In Tanya, Sha'ar Hayichud veemuna Ch1. the Rebbe writes:

It is written (Tehillim 119:89) "Forever, Hashem, Your word stands firm in the heavens"... So it also is with all created things in all the supernal and lower worlds, even this physical earth and inanimate matter: If the letters of the "ten utterances" by which the world was created during the six days of creation were to depart from it but for an instant, God forbid, it would literally revert to naught and absolute nothingness, exactly as before the six days of creation.

A good mashal is a video game. If you walk the character off a cliff, he "dies". But if you simply turn off the game, he doesn't "die", but the entire game ceases to be as if it never was.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes in Likutei Sichot 6 p88:

Time is itself a created reality, .... should the divine autterance cease to create, time will also cease to exist. So there would not remain anything of the world at all.

In Kabbalah, we have this idea of chochma and bina. Chochma is the higher part of the intellect that "thinks in concepts, not words". When you are searching for answer to a question, and then you "aha" get it, that moment of aha is timeless, you got the idea all at once in a single instant. You have to then feed that idea to your bina, which is that part of your intellect that "thinks in words". It explains the idea in words, it may even be many thousands of words to fully unpack the idea, that was all there at that very moment.

The purpose of creation is so that Hashem can be known (ata horeta l'daat). In His infinite wisdom, He chose to teach us about Himself as a teacher teaches to a student, through mashal. As I wrote in the other answer, according to "Veyadata", this whole creation is a mashal for Hashem, but it's one of those absolutely perfect mashals, where everything about the Nimshal is accurately represented (and eventually, the mashal and Nimshal will become One). A teacher who already has the chochma, but wants to impart it to his students, he must "take the time" to spell it out, bit by bit, mashal by mashal, until they finally get it. When they do get it though, the mashal falls away, and becomes simply a place holder for the truth of the larger, true concept of the nimshal.

This is the purpose of time (Malchut d'Atzilut), to reveal to us the higher divine truths that Hashem wishes us to understand about Himself that wouldn't fit into our finite world (so they are put in, bit by bit, over time), as well as give us an area with which to apply them, perform them, and do teshuva. Teshuva, interestingly, can "rewrite" time, by converting past misdeeds into merits (Yoma 86b - which hints at the true purpose of time: Free Will)! But still, time is just a creation, an illusion, something that isn't required in the long run. As the Tzemach Tzedek says in Derech Mitzvotecha 57B-58B:

Time is a creation, something new brought into being out of nothingness, like all other creations. Only God is timeless.... For God is utterly beyond time, even of time as an incalculable expanse... Rather all is continual present to Him.

In an essay by Rabbi Binyomin Walters "The Time before Time" he writes:

The ultimate intent for creation is to reveal God Himself in our world. Time as we know it reveals higher spiritual realities (the soul) within our limits. Yet, the difference between us and these spiritual realms is only relative. Ultimately, we will experience God Himself, Who transcends all limitations.

Points can never gain length by their own right, but when length - even the smallest length - is defined in terms of points, it creates infinite points.... So too, time can be viewed on three levels or dimensions: as finite time, as infinite time, or as infinite time within finite time. If time is viewed as finite, it is a series of points, definite parts and not a continuum. When time and space are viewed this way, time and motion work in increments like the frames of a movie. Space may also be viewed this way (and to be consistent, it must be), as existing in definite parts.

On the other hand, if time and space are viewed as infinite, they are a continuum and not a series of points. Rather, each movement and change is a single fluid unit. In this scheme, time and space are like line segments - they are finite in the realm of lines, but infinite in the realm of points, and points have no relevance to their world.

There is also a third way to think of time, when the infinite descends within the finite. This is like how a line encompasses infinite points and creates an infinite series of points when expressed in terms of points. Thus for every infinitely small point of space, there is an infinitely small point of time. This is indeed a paradox, for the mind cannot comprehend this. Here, the points take on the quality of a line, which should be impossible, because the points are series, they lack any length, so how can length be made out of them? The answer is that although points cannot make length of their own accord, the finite numbers can never reach infinitely, yet when infinity descends into the finite, the finite is able to become infinite too.

Although such a leaf is illogical, nay impossible, when viewed by the standards of the finite, there can still be recognition that this is so and that this is possible for a higher power, not bound by the same limits. In this way, time can be both points and a continuum. Such phenomena are the result of a higher realm interfacing and merging with a lower one. This is the purpose of time in general - to bridge a higher realm with a lower, as explained previously.

This is one of the ways the Infinite Creator is revealed in our world. The fact that matter is infinitely divisible and that time is infinitely divisible and that the world is set in such a way that it can continue forever and that matter cannot be destroyed all reveal something of God's infinity within our finite world. Particularly, the ability to merge the finite with the infinite points to God, for only God, Who is beyond the limits of both finite and infinite, can merge the two.

And so, very soon, we will experience infinite time, with the coming of Moshiach. That time is described as the "day that is all long", meaning completely infinite time. Furthermore, "all" long implies that its beginning is long like its end. This means that not only will we experience God for eternity in an infinite future, we will also retroactively experience Him in an infinite past, extending even before the world was created. For the world is made with an Author, a Book and a Story. And just like a story starts in the middle of a scene with a completely world, so too our world started mid-scene. But in the time of Moshiach, God will reveal everything to us, including his intent of the past history of the world. And just as God is infinite, so too will the revelation of Him in our finite world be infinite, breaking all bounds in all directions and all dimensions.

In the above mashal, we can (so to speak) understand the Tzemach Tzedek - that Hashem sees all of time as "present". From a higher point of view, an infinity can be seen as a single (therefore "finite") totality. When there is no more "work" to be done, no improvement to be made, we won't need time as we know it anymore, and things will be different. From Hashem's point of view, time is as if absolutely nothing, l'havdil like we would consider "time" in a video game.

Somehow, Hashem has offered us a bridge, to get closer to Him and attach ourselves to Him (and this might answer your point about how it might detract from Him if we say our souls are eternal - their eternity is Him). It will take an eternity, of course, but that eternity is still something that will "come to an end" from His point of view. Even from our point of view, it won't be an eternity as we know it, and we can't describe it, nor do we know much about it anyway as it is all a big secret. The only real thing we know about it, is it will be wonderful. The best good God can give, and certainly utterly devoid of all forms of suffering or deficiency or pain.

Just like we avoid dwelling on our own mortality and death, most people avoid dwelling on scary concepts like eternity. If one is having trouble doing this, aside from increasing Torah knowledge which is the cure to all illness, any Rabbi worth his salt would strongly urge a person to go and seek professional help so they can have a balanced and stable emotional life in order to serve Hashem. All we can offer is the former here on Mi Yodeya, but we are obligated to urge you to also pursue the latter.

I'll finish on this: I was once by a Nevardok Rosh Yeshiva for shabbat and I asked him if we will get to see, after 120 or Moshiach, what the Avot etc looked like, as I really want to. He laughed and said "I can absolutely assure you that what you want now is not what you are going to want then". Take away from this is, we have no business concerning ourselves with what will happen in the future simply because we can't possibly know what it will be like, nor what we will be like then.

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    this was a very beautiful post and I wish I can upvote it. You definitely give a lot of super interesting sources and conceptual material to ponder. Thank you! Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 5:56
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PART I

In this section I cite traditional rabbinic sources as to the view of the immortality of the soul.

The immortality of the soul is an undisputed belief within Rabbinic Judaism. That the righteous attain to immortality is incontrovertibly upheld by our Baale ha-Mesorah. The Geonim, Rishonim, Aharonim posit and espouse this belief, and arguably a denial of it is a denial of the fundamental belief in sekhar w’onesh (reward and punishment).

Here are some citations to consider. If/when I have time, I will continue to add to it the list:

The Rambam unequivocally endorses the immortality of the soul, see H. Teshubha 8:1 and 9:2, MN 3:54, and intro to commentary on Pereq Heleq.

Ibn Ezra on Gen. 1:26, 3:24, Isaiah 51:6 (and I’m sure many other cites) affirms it.

Yehudah ha-Lewi, Kuzari 1:103 – Judaism without a doubt affirms the immortality of the soul.

The Ralbag dedicates the first entire treatise of Sefer Milhamoth Hashem to this topic. There are also many places throughout his commentary on Tanakh where he employs the term החיים הנצחיים… so many times that it is nearly impossible to count (especially in his commentary on Misheli) , eg. Mishle 3:16, Mishlei 4:4

R. Shemuel ibn Tibbon in the intro to his Sefer Nefesh ha-Adam (his commentary on Qoheleth) is explicit on the immortality of the soul.

The Ra”n (Rabbenu Nissim of Gerona) endorses the immortality of the soul and says this is the message of Aqedath Yishaq. See Derashoth ha-Ran, sixth derashah and his commentary on the Torah p. 289.

Rabbenu Hasdai Crescas takes up this view regarding the Aqeda and immortality of the soul in his Ohr Hashem, treatise 3, principle 3, section 3.

R. Yosef Albo in Sefer ha-Iqarim section 4, ch. 36 argues for the immortality of the soul and posits that this is the traditional view of the rabbis.

Shelomo b. Semah Duran (Rashbas) in Hesheq Shelomo repeatedly returns to the theme of the immortality of the soul.

Hiddushei Aggadoth (of the Maharsha) on Rosh Hashana 16b discusses the immortal soul of the righteous.

Malbim on Mishlei 3:16 affirms “orekh yamim” as eternal reward for the soul

Berith Abhraham on Tehillim 13:6

R. Shimshon Rafael Hirsch (on Genesis 50) describes Jewish belief as “היהודי מאמין שהנשמה מתקיימת לעולם“


Part II

In this section I will break down various methodological errors you made in approach.

The piyyut Adon ‘Olam is not a source of theology. To the extent that it has been understood to reflect traditional Jewish views, various communities have seen fit to sing it. Not all do sing/recite it and no community deems its recitation an obligatory formal part of tefillah. It does not originate new views in and of itself and most importantly should an interpretation (such as your own) of a given piyyut be at odds with the traditional views of Judaism (see Part I) then that interpretation would be cast aside. The peshat in the phrase ואחרי ככלות הכל is that God alone is an absolute/primary existence upon which all other existence is contingent. That said, I do not see much value in trying to make all kinds of linguistic analyses of poems as they are not themselves an originating source of our theology.

Similarly, as regards to the recitation of Ani Maamin, there are many different nushaoth, and the text itself does not originate the theology, it is a mere reflection of the Rambam’s postulation of the ‘iqarim. If we are trying to understand his iqarim, we ought analyze them independently rather than look to a poetic reiteration. When one looks back to the originating source, the intent of the author (i.e. the Rambam) is clear (as made above in Part I). Once again, the same peshat applies as in Adon 'Olam - it is an affirmation of the non-contingent nature of God. He is absolute, whereas all other existences are subject to His existence (again, see H. Yesode ha-Torah ch. 1). I would also add that there have even been traditionalists that opposed for various reasons the recitation of Ani Maamin (e.g. Maharal, Maharshal, Lebhush, et al.). I would not delve too deeply into a linguistic analysis of one particular nusah as it is not itself a source of our theology.

As regards the application of the principle of מורידין ואין מעלין to גיהנום, it is not dispositive of anything. First, I am skeptical that this legal principle ought to apply to an eschatological concept (i.e., גיהנום). However even were one to admit it (as others may have), one can simply claim that the wicked descend, are punished, and are then extinguished from existence (c.f. the Rambam’s description of kareth in his intro to Heleq and his description in H. Teshubha 8:1). This would not facially contradict it, and therefore it cannot be rallied in either direction to answer this question.

As for Nahman of Breslov, he is generally not a focus of my study. However, he makes clear that he affirms the immortality of the soul in Liqute Moharan: ועקר החיים נצחיים יהיה לעתיד מחמת הדעת שירבה הדעת שידעו הכל את ה' ועל ידי הדעת יכללו באחדותו ואז יחיו חיים נצחיים כמוהו

Your statement on לעולם ועד in Tanakh – each instance needs to be analyzed independently and by light of its traditional interpreters. And only then, can you try to parse out a theory. Without this fundamental analysis there is nothing to go on here.

As for the Rambam, there are several clear sources wherein he affirms the immortality of the soul. There is absolutely no question on this. See Part I above.

As for the name of God and the notion that the immortality of the soul somehow takes away from the uniqueness of God, it absolutely does not. All of creation is a contingent existence, see H. Yesode ha-Torah 1:2. We are not speaking of co-eternal entities. We are speaking of immortality conferred upon a contingent creation.

Regarding Hagigah 11b: ironically you are taking away the opposite message than what the traditional interpreters have. See the Rambam’s commentary on the Mishnah there: ונודע כי כל אדם בטבעו משתוקק לכל החכמות כולם בין יהיה טפש או חכם, והאדם על כל פנים מחשב באלו השתי חכמות בתחילת מחשבתו, וישליט מחשבתו עליהם בלי התחלות ובלי מדרגות בחכמות, מנע זה ללמדם והזהיר עליו, ואמר להפחיד אותו המשליט דעתו בהתחלות מבלי הקדמות, כמו שבארנו כל המסתכל בארבעה דברים וכו', ואמר להכניע המשליט שכלו ומחשבתו בדברים האלהיים בדמיונו המופשט בלי התחלה בחכמות. The topic needs to be treated methodically and from the foundation, not in a scattered way.

As for comparisons of the souls of the righteous to stars and that contemporary astronomy knows that stars eventually die. This again, is a mistaken take away. It is a mashal and within the mashal stars are permanent fixtures (as was historically believed). Modern science doesn’t change the basis of the mashal and therefore similarly it has no bearing on the nimshal.


Now if your actual concern is not the immortality of the soul, but rather the perception of [infinite] time by the immortal soul… that is in altogether different matter. There is plenty to suggest that the apprehension of time, from a classical Jewish perspective, is an accident of corporeal existence and does not therefore apply to such a state of existence. We may readily apply the principle of עין לא ראתה – no one is capable of describing what that state of existence is like experientially and therefore there is no use or profit in preoccupying ourselves in trying to understand that which is incomprehensible.

Again, I think it is methodologically erroneous however to come to the table with a conclusion that you would like (because it is psychologically expedient, or otherwise) and proceed from there attempting to re-interpret texts to draw it into consonance with this predetermined conclusion. An honest analysis, one without foregone conclusions, of the classical sources of Rabbinic Judaism demonstrates a unanimous affirmation of the immortality of the soul. All the twisting, contorting and kvetching, will not change that. If that somehow interferes with your psychological health, the proper tact is not to attempt to change Judaism, it is to get the help you need in a clinical setting. Once you are stable and managing, perhaps then you can return to the topic in absolute sincerity. All the best, and wishing you a רפואה שלמה.

Endnote:

I intend not to respond in the comments as I do not think it will be much more helpful beyond this.

Edit: To the allegation of "crookedness" and "slyness" there is no such thing of the sort. Answers are edited and updated by their authors to represent the best possible answer. All edits are reflected in the history of the post.

As for R. Aryeh Kaplan on Sanhedrin 92a-b, this concerns the second physical death of the body of those that have arisen in תחיית המתים and does not refer to an extinguishment of the immortal soul.

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    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 14:12
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Tosefta-Sanhedrin 13:2

Sheol will be destroyed.

II Shmuel 14:14

וְחָשַׁב֙ מַֽחֲשָׁב֔וֹת לְבִלְתִּ֛י יִדַּ֥ח מִמֶּ֖נּוּ נִדָּֽח

God planned so that even those that were rejected will not be rejected

Yishayahu 60:21:

וְעַמֵּךְ֙ כֻּלָּ֣ם צַדִּיקִ֔ים לְעוֹלָ֖ם יִ֣ירְשׁוּ אָ֑רֶץ נֵ֧צֶר (מטעו) [מַטָּעַ֛י] מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדַ֖י לְהִתְפָּאֵֽר׃

And all your people are righteous, they shall inherit the land for ever; the branch of My planting, the work(s) of My hands, in which I glory

Lubavitcher Rebbe, in a famous column in a magazine he edited before he was Rebbe, made a great case proving how indeed the statement "Kol Yisrael yesh lahem chelek l'olam haba" (Sanhedrin, 10:1) is literally true, going through all contrary sources and showing how they actually all prove that it is true, we are all going to Olam Haba eventually (he quotes the Arizal as the source of the famous chassidic saying that even the most sinful go). The question is, how hot and long a shower do we need to wipe of the dirt of our sins? Rabbi Manis Friedman, one of the Rebbe's most prolific students, goes through it in this fascinating shiur:

What The Torah Actually Says About Hell

See also.

It must be noted, you are exactly right in your objection to eternal suffering. Belief in eternal punishment is completely forbidden as it would imply evil goes on forever, and the midrash above dispels that. It is also noted in many authoritative contemporary sources that we are all unintentional sinners (tinokei shenishba) in our generation (see The Tinok Shenishbah written by Rabbi Chaim Rapoport for the London Beth Din in 5757), so of course this idea of "Kol Yisrael yesh lahem chelek l'olam haba" applies to us.

First gemara in Avodah Zara, Hashem says:

I testify that they [the Jewish people] fulfilled the Torah in its entirety. [The nations] say before Him: Master of the Universe, is there a father who can testify about his son? As it is written: “Israel is My son, My firstborn” (Exodus 4:22). The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: Heaven and earth will testify about them that they fulfilled the Torah in its entirety.

The Ishbitzer says (Mei Hashiloach - Yitro):

"Emor l'nafshi yeshuaseich ani" - The term 'amira' connotes whispering. Hashem whispers in the ear of the penitent sinner, 'I am your salvation. For even though you have transgressed the words of the Torah, there is nothing that stands in the way of teshuva'. Later on, Hashem will illuminate for this individual that, in fact, he did not cross the boundary of His Desire at all.

Why are such harsh statements recorded in the Torah if they are not true? On the contrary, they are true. It's absolutely true that if someone does some level of sin they can be excluded from eternal life. It's just that, this will never happen - trust in your holy soul, it won't let it happen, Hashem won't let it happen. He will defend us, and excuse us, and find atonement for us; it might be painful, but in the end, we all get there, one way or another. So why does the Torah record it? To tell you how serious this all is, and how supremely important it is to Hashem!

What about Adon Olam? Remember, the Zohar states:

ישראל ואורייתא וקודשא בריך הוא חד הוא.

The Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch taught us a ma'amer called "Veyadata". I recommend learning it. It says that all of the world is a mashal for Hashem. The thing is, it is a perfect mashal. Every detail of the Nimshal is represented accurately by the mashal. And, just like any good mashal, the wiser the students become in their studies, the more and more they see through the mashal, and know the Nimshal, until the mashal and the Nimshal become One, so what that means for eternity visavís conscious time-bound experience is not something we can understand yet, so not necessarily something to panic about. Either way, it's promised to be wonderful, the best Good that God can give, which surely is... incredible.

EDIT: I see you are a new account - welcome to the site! If you wish to start a chat to talk about this topic further, post the link as a comment to this question and I will bli neder join.

3
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/132092/… Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 23:33
  • Wait, I think I misunderstood what you mean by chat. I thought there might be some special tool on this website to opening up a direct chat through posting the page link to a comment, but you probably just meant some other sort of chat. That's funny! What kind of chat are you referring to? Sorry, I don't have experience with these things. Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 1:45
  • @AYALTAAROG you can make a chat room here: chat.stackexchange.com/…
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 15:13

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