Jews Do Believe in Heaven

February 6th, 2019 Posted by AAJC Happenings, On Our Mind 8 comments

Twitter is often the platform of ignorant blathering and best ignored. But when the tweet is by someone who is White House Correspondent for The New York Times and it concerns Judaism, we think it worthwhile to publicly refute it.

We understand that not everyone loved President Trump’s State of the Union speech as much as we did. Yet Annie Karni objected to the president’s words when he quoted a Holocaust survivor saying, “They came down from heaven,” about the American troops who liberated him from the Dachau concentration camp.


(Anni Karni: Trump just ad-libbed “they came down from heaven” when quoting a Holocaust survivor watching American soldiers liberate Dachau. Jews don’t believe in Heaven.)

Note to Ms. Karni. Judaism does teach of Heaven—rather extensively. Those Jews who are faithful descendants of our ancestors believe in an afterlife, Heaven, and judgement after death. We acknowledge that many Jews, tragically, often know little of the traditional, vibrant and enduring faith that is their heritage. So, we think you made an honest mistake, but as an intelligent woman we encourage you to expand your education. There’s a wonderful world of Judaism waiting for your exploration. Perhaps you will join us for a Shabbat dinner and we can talk further.

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Angel says:

I love your approach Rabbi. That makes me smile and even laugh

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Angel,
We love providing insight, wonder and joy.
By the way, the piece about belief in heaven to which you allude was written by Mrs. Lapin.

Chase Kellis says:

Thank you Susan, Daniel, and Team!

I was recently asked about heaven on my spiritual journey in reading the Hebrew/English “Art Scroll” book
(A link in your FAQs tab)

I got it as a gift and I have been reading it almost every day!

Can I ask, about how the Jew people believe they get accepted into heaven? Or where in the Bible it covers this?

I’ve only learned Christianity. And in general, ones who’ve really studied the Old/New Testament believe that you need to accept Jesus as your savior in order to be accepted into heaven.

But I would love to know that major difference in understanding the Old Testament, and how the WORLD REALLLLLLLY WORKS on the heaven questions! 😉

Also, if this has been covered, then maybe a link to it?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Chase–
We humans are partially material, physical bodies and we are also spiritual. Physical things like computers, guitars, and bodies can come to an end, eventually decomposing over time. Spiritual things like software, tunes, and souls can never end. Heaven is where souls hang out.
Hope this necessarily simplified answer helps.

Priscilla says:

How DARE she mock that elderly man! Must she drag everything that is holy and sacred through the muck? Including elderly people who have already gone through so many horrors? I realize her intention was to make Trump look the fool, but to so disregard the feelings of that elderly gentleman is beyond belief. It’s a good thing I am not her mother! Were one of my young children to grow up with such disrespect, I would march myself straight to her office, and give her the spanking of her life!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Well said, Priscilla,
well said! And please don’t hold back on our account!
I am only sorry that her mother did not parent as effectively as you. It makes all the difference.

Brenda says:

First of all, I love this website and I admire you Rabbi and Mrs Susan Lapin very much. And I thank you for clarifying this matter, as this has been one of my many questions.

Susan Lapin says:

Brenda, so many of Jewish ancestry have no idea about Torah ideas that it is hardly surprising that it confuses non-Jews as well. (Don’t know into which category you fall, of course.)

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