Jewish Views of the Afterlife

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Originally published in 1994, Jewish Views of the Afterlife is a classic study of ideas of afterlife and postmortem survival in Jewish tradition and mysticism. As both a scholar and pastoral counselor, Raphael guides the reader through 4,000 years of Jewish thought on the afterlife by investigating pertinent sacred texts produced in each era. Through a compilation of ideas found in the Bible, Apocrypha, rabbinic literature, medieval philosophy, medieval Midrash, Kabbalah, Hasidism and Yiddish literature, the reader learns how Judaism conceived of the fate of the individual after death throughout Jewish history. In addition, this book explores the implications of Jewish afterlife beliefs for a renewed understanding of traditional rituals of funeral, burial, shiva, kaddish and more. This newly released twenty-fifth anniversary edition presents new material on little-known Jewish mystical teachings on reincarnation, a chapter on Spirits, Ghosts and Dybbuks in Yiddish Literature , and a foreword by the renowned scholar of Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Arthur Green. Both historical and contemporary, this book provides a rich resource for scholars and laypeople and for teachers and students and makes an important Jewish contribution to the growing contemporary psychology of death and dying.