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Source For Reward And Punishment In The Next World

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#1 boruchsiper



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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:24 PM

First of all, big kuddos on this forum. It's the most amazing hashkafa resource I've seen. Yasher Kokacho!!

In both tochahos as well as in the second paragraph of Kriyas Shemah, the Torah talks about schar v'onesh on this world. When Neviim were sent to Klal Yisroel to do Teshuva, they would warn of impending suffering and punishment on this world.
This may mislead one to think (ch'v) that the point of keeping the mitzvos is solely for the purpose of living better on this world as opposed to getting punished for not keeping the mitzvos.

What is the source for schar v'onesh in gan eiden and gehenem, and for that matter, for Olam Hobo all together?

I vaguely remember something from Rabbi Miller's tape him talking about Bilam. His wish was "v'acharisi k'mosom". Rabbi Miller explained that this means "my Olam Habo should be like a Jew", and not like the apikorsim traslate it to mean "my end".

Rabbi, can you please elaborate and/or add to this topic?
Many thanks

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 03:23 PM

Thank you for the kind words, Boruch!

I don't know about a tape, but I'd refer you to Rabbi Miller's book "Rejoice O Youth" pp.70-72, where he cites many sources for Olam Habah in Tanach.

The first example:

בראשית פכ"ה

ח) וַיִּגְוַע וַיָּמָת אַבְרָהָם בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה זָקֵן וְשָׂבֵעַ וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל עַמָּיו:

ט) וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ יִצְחָק וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל בָּנָיו אֶל מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָ

Now Avraham's "people" were never buried in the Meoras Hamachpelah, so what does the Posuk mean when it says he died and "was gathered to his people"?

It means in the next world.

Two things, though:

One, we really do not need to bring proofs to Olam Habah (or anything else) specifically from Tanach. Our "Bible" is the Jewish Mesorah which includes Tanach, Shas, Rishonim and Achronim (See here). Demanding of us to show a source for Olam Habah in Tanach is the same as someone who for whatever reason decides he only believes in Sefer Yechezkel to bring a proof from there. The Torah is not just Tanach, and not everything needs to be contained in it. The fact that some other religions decided to concatenate the Torah and believe only in Tanach is not our problem.

Still, it is a valid question as to why Olam Habah is not mentioned more explicitly in Tanach, whereas reward in Olam Hazeh is. Why the disproportionate coverage?

There are many answers to that. One (p. 72) is that the Torah Shebiksav is a testimony to the generations. Hashem's promises to the Avos are recorded as are the prophecies of reward and punishment. Because it is a testimony, only reward and punishment that is verifiable is recorded.

There are many other reasons given in the Meforshim as well.

Second: There is a difference between a proof and a source. A proof is something that cannot be explained another way. A source is the place where we learn something, even if others who want to can explain it differently. If our Torah SheBal Peh tells us that a certain Posuk is referring to Olam Habah, that is a source for us, even if it not a "proof" to others.

And so, the Meforshim point out that there is a Posuk whose explicit message is, that after a person dies, his Neshama goes to Olam Habah, and his animals parts - the body and the Nefesh Habehamis - remain in the ground. It is in Koheles ch 3:

כ) הַכֹּל הוֹלֵךְ אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד הַכֹּל הָיָה מִן הֶעָפָר וְהַכֹּל שָׁב אֶל הֶעָפָר:

כא) מִי יוֹדֵעַ רוּחַ בְּנֵי הָאָדָם הָעֹלָה הִיא לְמָעְלָה וְרוּחַ הַבְּהֵמָה הַיֹּרֶדֶת הִיא לְמַטָּה לָאָרֶץ