Karma, reincarnation, immortality of the soul, or six feet of dirt?
What is our ultimate fate? What happens when we die? I think I can safely say that we have all asked ourselves this question at some point in our lives. Perhaps as we age, we ask it more frequently. It is human nature to want to understand our origins, our place in this world and our “final” destination.
Judaism, like most religions, has something to say about our end of days. In fact, Judaism has a lot to say about it. Many of us think we know what Jewish tradition says about what happens when we die, but you may be surprised that our tradition is in fact not monolithic on the status of the body and soul after death. After all, the Torah itself says very little about things like the soul and heaven. As far as I know, no one has yet come back to describe to us the next world, or even if there is a next world.
The mystery of what happens after death has allowed for an assortment of Jewish opinions on eschatology. Over the next several weeks, I will devote my sermon time to sharing some of the many Jewish views on this mystifying stage of our existence.
We will explore everything from the origin of death in the Bible to modern day Jewish philosophy on the world to come.
The following are the dates and specific titles of each talk:
June 15 –Death in The Bible
June 22 – Post Biblical and Rabbinic Sources
June 29 – Maimonides on Death
July 6 – Modern Thoughts and Approaches to Death
July 27 – Fulfilling Mitzvot Afterlife (Note Date Change from August 3)
Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel has been Midbar Kodesh Temple's spiritual leader since August 2008. Rabbi Tecktiel was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May of 1996. He holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one from List College and one from Columbia University. He also holds a Masters of Arts from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
You can follow him on Twitter @RabbiMKT.