purpose of punishment that never ends
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:58 PM
One, because it is a deterrent. If people would not be punished for doing bad, a lot less people would bother to be good.
Two, reward and punishment for MItzvos is not the same as when people reard and punish others in this world. Reward and punishment for Mitzvos and Aveiros is the self-inflicted natural consequence of the Mitzvah or Aveirah. If someone jumps off a roof they break their leg, and if someone does an Aveirah, they cause their Neshama pain. We would really feel this pain immediately, but our physical bodies repress the pain the soul feels.
Same for a Mitzvah. When we do a MItzvah, our souls feel immeasurable joy, but the physical body anesthetizes us to spiritual feelings. When the body is gone, our Neshama feels what we did to it while we were alive.
And the reward/punishment for Mitzvos and Aveiros follow a set of laws, just like the physical world follows a set of laws. If you stub your toe it hurts, but if someone falls from a 150 story building he dies. Nobody would be prompted to ask, "Why did Hashem make the world such that if someone jumps from a 150 story building he totally dies?" because we all understand that that is nature, that is the world, and the world is expected to follow some natural pattern of laws.
And so, just as the physical world has a natural body of laws it always follows, so too the spiritual world has its nature as well. If you do something wholesome for your soul, it thrives, and vice versa. And just as a person can jump off the Empire State Building and kill himself totally, so too a person can kill his soul so that it can never be fixed. That is no more or less "punishment" than when the "punishment" for jumping off a skyscraper. it's just nature.
That having been said, the nature of things that hurt or benefit a soul is much more justice-oriented than the things that benefit or hurt the body. The body can suffer from accidents; the soul cannot. A person can fall of the Empire State Building unintentionally. People get hurt r"l all the time not through their own choice. But that never happens with the soul. Neshamos can only suffer if a person chooses to hurt himself. There is no such thing as accidental damage to a Neshama. That's why we refer to it as Schar V'Onesh even though it is really natural consequences. Consequences can happen by accident. Schar V'Onesh only comes as a result of choices.Nobody's Neshama can accidentally fall of the Empire State Building. People can only jump.
Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:12 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, don't the seforim say that really all jews will get some sort of portion in the world to come (ve'ameich kulom tzadeekim) and it is really not possible to loose one's complete portion of olam haba.
That only applies to Maaminim who have committed a sin whose punishment is the loss of Olam Habah, such as those listed in the Mishna in Sanhedrin ואלו שאין להם חלק לעוה"ב. But someone who has no Olam Habah because he has removed himself from Jewishness, such as someone who denies any of the 13 Ikarim, has no share in Olam Habah.