The afterlife is seldom discussed in Jewish religious texts such as the Torah and the Talmud. This naturally amounts to an inquiry into another aspect; do Jewish people believe in heaven?
There is no definitive answer to that question.
The basic facts on Judaism- Jewish faith- revolve around one God that has
established a covenant with His people. A written code of conducts prescribes an ideal lifestyle that pretty much covers relations of main with fellow man and man with God.
Based on this there is a difference between moral and immoral, right and wrong, good and evil. Those that live a righteous life will be rewarded while the sinful will earn their judgment.
Followers adhere to the ideal way of life and look forward to a period of
universal peace and prosperity. This period has been described in prophets’
visions. However, there is much speculation and discussion as to the concept
and existence of heaven. After all it is supposed to be God’s refuge.
Jewish faith relies heavily on religious texts. The application of the many
tenets prescribed therein defines daily life and aspiration towards the
Messianic Age. The concept of heaven or hell has remained a deeply shrouded
mystery for adherents of Jewish faith.
The oldest monotheistic religion teaches One God that is just and righteous.
The concept of good and evil as two opposing sides will ultimately lead to the
idea of consequences for one’s actions.
Good deeds are to be rewarded and exemplified while evil acts are to be paid in full with unbridled punishment and discouraged. Rabbinical scholars ascertain this but there is very little guideline as to a specific place or heaven that the righteous are supposed to reside in.
In order to understand the concept of heaven there needs to be a vivid
description of its defining elements bit by bit. Religious texts have little
material on this subject leaving much explanation to folklore.
Folklore itself barely fills the gap but it is the only explanation that has
been passed on from one generation to the next. Perhaps the absence of a real proof is simply a way to guide more earnest efforts to seek out the truth.
Heaven as a concept has been used by many religious institutions as an
evangelizing tool to win converts. Jewish faith accepts new converts but does
not hold an active mission that is intended to bring in more converts. This
defining aspect holds some evidence as to why the religious texts seem to steer clear of this issue.
Evangelizing missions hold a special allure to the audience- faithful converts
are to be supposedly rewarded in heaven. The vile wrongdoers are to be punished in hell.
The fact of the matter is that there is no outright consensus as to whether
there is a heaven. That alone leaves plenty of room for people to make logical
conclusions based on other religious tenets.
The concept of an afterlife remains a heavily shrouded affair when it comes to
Judaism. Its mystery is best left to the all- Knowing Creator.