Thoughts on Heaven

I know that to many Jews questions about faith–God; the After Life; God’s role in the World; take backseat to politics. With things as they are going in Israel, with Prime Minister Netanyahu trying to make it possible for Parliament to bypass the Judicial System, it is hard not to see the world in its political dimensions most. It is also easy for Americans, with our culture war debates going on in the media, to disengage from the vitriolic politics of the moment. I know we all feel that our country is in danger of falling into the hands of unscrupulous authoritarians… if we are not equally afraid that the traditions we hold dear as a people are slipping… but either way I insist that we all need to occasionally take a moment to think about things which are not political but spiritual.

I know all of us are afraid of what lies in the immediate future–some of us even wonder if it could be as bad as the 1930’s–but we must at times focus on what is beautiful in the world. I remember learning that Virginia Woolf committed suicide in part because of what was going on with the Nazis in Germany. She was right to be upset, but not right to take her life. She should have realized that the Jews in Germany did not benefit from her death–that instead she should have taken a walk in the Park or the zoo, in order to calm her nerves.

Anyway, I want to bring up a question far removed from politics and even this world: Heaven. I have sometimes wondered what Heaven is like, and in my studies I have found not only the Tanakh and Talmud helpful, but even the beliefs of Platonism and Hinduism–or so I think. I believe God created each human soul, his “breath” made just for the body it is “breathed” into. I believe God is Spirit (ala Maimonides), and the body is matter… yet as Leibnitz insists I believe the Universe itself is alive… its “life” is energy, as Einstein taught, too… yet I believe the Soul of the Universe is not merely the energy in it but God’s “breath” and that this “breath” is the power that takes the atom and creates the element that creates the physical building blocks of Nature. Yet despite this belief I believe that God is “aware” of us, that our suffering is God’s, and that outside of the Universe, created by the Big Bang, is the God who is aware of all things. I believe this God is everything God is cracked up to be: a God in whose likeness we are, because of all the animals we are creatures who possess “the knowledge of Good and Evil” and are able to explore our Universe with curiosity.

Anyway, I believe those of us who live according to God’s will are blessed in that eventually we shall go back to God and live with God in Heaven. In Heaven, we shall be aware of God, God’s goodness and power, in a way that we are not in this world. We will live in Awe of the One God. The way to experience God in this world is through meditation or prayer, but of course a person cannot spend their whole day constantly praying or meditating. Yet in Heaven the differentiation between God and Human Souls will bend without collapsing… The feeling will be love, but not sexual love or love based on physical love… and yet the righteous person will find either those friends they had on earth or new friends they never knew they had or both. It is as the scriptures say, “It is not good for Man to be alone.”

In this world there are moments of bliss in which a person can experience the Love of God. It takes the full immersion into God’s Word, and into the commentaries of it. I do not deny that a Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist could not find it in their religion, but I deny that merely reading one book by itself will get you there. No, though the primary text of the religion is necessary, so are a thorough knowledge of the traditional teachings… There are good people who never make it to a Path, but I believe they find a lack inside… The Path a person finds God on is its own justification. As it says in Proverbs, Wisdom is the Tree of Life.

Published by hadassahalderson

I am a professional author who lives in Wichita, KS. I went to Friends University and spent one year at Claremont Graduate University. My published work includes: The Bible According to Eve I-IV and Faust in Love.

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