Is it true that in the afterlife, there will be video tapes played in front of everyone, showing our most embarrassing and most shameful acts that we've committed in this lifetime?
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
תָּא חֲזֵי, בְּשַׁעֲתָא דִּבְנֵי נָשָׁא דְּמִיכִין, וְטַעֲמִין טַעֲמָא דְּמוֹתָא, וְנִשְׁמְתָא סַלְּקָא לְעֵילָּא, קַיְּימָא בַּאֲתָר דְּקַיְּימָא, וְאִתְבְּחִינַת עַל עוֹבָדָהָא דְּעַבְדַּת כָּל יוֹמָא, וְכַתְבִין לְהוּ עַל פִּתְקָא. מַאי טַעְמָא. בְּגִין דְּנִשְׁמְתָא סַלְּקָא לְעֵילָּא, וְאַסְהִידַת עַל עוֹבָדוֹי דְּבַּר נָשׁ, וְעַל כָּל מִלָּה וּמִלָּה דְּנָפִיק מִפּוּמֵיהּ.
When people die, and taste death, and the soul goes up high... things that were done everyday are written down..
In masechet chibut hakever, in ch. 1, it discusses, too, how ones life’s actions are announced in front of him and are used to embarrass him. See there for more detailed details on dying.
[As a side note, I recall that this concept of a video tape originated with 20th century rabbis. If I recall correctly, somewhere in the book ‘Ish HaAshkolot’ (the book which covers the life of Rabbi Weismandl) it mentions that he made such an analogy to ‘film’. However, I have read other things recently, and thus I may be misquoting the source.
On a related note, Chofetz Chaim writes similar concepts in the last chapter of Shem Olam. He discusses how to look at certain new technologies (such as photography, the train and the phonograph etc.) in relation to Torah ideas. So, it seems many rabbis attempted to use new technologies to expand on Torah related ideas.]
The exact details of the afterlife are shrouded in mystery. Sources indeed describe a review of once's life. That there will not be video tapes is pretty clear from the words of the Rambam (Hilchot Tshuva 8:2)
In the world to come, there is no body or physical form, only the souls of the righteous alone, without a body, like the ministering angels. Since there is no physical form, there is neither eating, drinking, nor any of the other bodily functions of this world like sitting, standing, sleeping, death, sadness, laughter, and the like.
The Rambam describes how souls will go back to their Godly source and experience the ultimate good, which is to be close to God's presence (see further in Hilchot Tshuva).
Other sources describe a phase of judgement after death where souls are indeed judged, or judging themselves.
See how chabad.org describes it (section What is Heaven and Hell?)
After death, the soul returns to its divine Source, together with all the G‑dliness it has “extracted” from the physical world by using it for meaningful purposes. The soul now relives its experiences on another plane, and experiences the good it accomplished during its physical lifetime as incredible happiness and pleasure, and the negative as incredibly painful. [...]
When the soul departs from the body, it stands before the heavenly court to give a “judgment and accounting” of its earthly life. But the heavenly court does only the “accounting” part; the “judgment” part—that, only the soul itself can do. Only the soul can pass judgment on itself; only it can know and sense the true extent of what it accomplished, or neglected to accomplish, in the course of its physical life. Freed from the limitations and concealments of the physical state, it can now see G‑dliness; it can now look back at its own life and experience what it truly was. The soul’s experience of the G‑dliness it brought into the world with its mitzvot and positive actions is the exquisite pleasure of Gan Eden (the “Garden of Eden”—Paradise); its experience of the destructiveness it wrought through its lapses and transgressions is the excruciating pain of Gehinnom (“Gehenna” or “Purgatory”).
Yes and no:
Generally, we have very little idea of what happens in the World to Come (afterlife/afterdeath). There's are lots of metaphors and comparisons but none of them claim exact knowledge of the process. Most of the Rabbis' claims are motivational and not informational.
One of the basic assumptions of Judaism (see Rambam's 13 principles of the Jewish faith) is that the afterworld serves the principle of reward and punishment through some kind of the "Final Judgement" before G-d. Nobody knows exactly what happens there and if the hearing is opened or closed and what tapes are played.
We also assume that G-d Himself does not break His own laws and because public embarrassing is against His Laws as prescribed in our Oral tradition (איסור אונאת דברים) we can assume a person will not be embarrassed in front of others.
On the other hand, we can also conclude based on #2, that a person will be embarrassed for his misdeeds even if before G-d and His entourage (angels, maybe our forefathers etc).