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What is a soul? What happens after we die? Do Jews believe in heaven and hell? What is reincarnation? Why does Jewish law forbid cremation? What does the Kaddish prayer say about death?

Life & Death

Life & Death

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I have been told it is generally not the done thing for pregnant women to go to a cemetery. On the other hand, I do want to be there to honor my friend's memory. What do you think?
Why Celebrate My Birthday?
My parents say that I was an "accident." Is there any meaning in celebrating the day that I wasn't really supposed to have been born on?
What is a Soul?
A soul is Divine energy, a little piece of G-d within you. Your inner identity, your raison d'être
What is the Jewish View on Martyrdom?
I know that there are religions in which it's a great thing to die for your faith, and doing so makes you a saint or gets you a ticket to paradise. What is the Jewish view? Is a person supposed to die for his beliefs?
How Do I Know that I have a Soul?
Do you have a body? Did you say yes? So now tell me: Who is this "me" that has this body?
How Do I Know What Is My Mission in Life? (I)
I've been told that each one of us has a specific, individual mission in life. How do I know what mine is?
How Do I Know What is my Mission in Life? (II)
Since the beginning of time a "piece of the world" has been waiting for a particular soul to purify and repair it; but how do we we know which piece is ours?
Why Don't I Know My Life Mission?
Why is it so hard to figure out how to accomplish our mission? Some people go through their entire lives just searching. Why is that?
Dealing With Difficulty
The sages of the Talmud taught us that “according to the camel is the load.”
Coping with Pain
I live with constant pain. How do I cope?
Do Autistic Children Have Special Souls?
I am the mother of two autistic children. I love them both dearly, but as any parent of children with special needs will tell you, raising them is challenging and can often be full of disappointment, hurt and frustration...
Why Does G-d Create Severely Handicapped Babies?
If life has a purpose, what is the purpose of such a short and sad life?
What is a Shalom Zachar?
What consolation can we offer the soul? What can we answer to its cry: Why did I have to come down here?!
Do Jews Believe in an Afterlife?
The Torah assumes this, the Talmud discusses the experiences of several people who made the trip there and back, and classic Jewish works describe the process. You want a real good spacesuit to make this trip
Am I Going to Burn in Hell?
I've committed a number of sins over the years; am I going to burn in Hell?
 Does Suicide Lead To Hell?
Is it true that if you commit suicide, you won't go to heaven? But if there is no Jewish hell, where will you go?
Life After Death in the Bible?
Does Judaism believe in an afterlife? From what I've read of the Torah it seems that there is no mention of life after death
Memory and Loss
"Remembrance" provides context to deal with the most painful of losses
What is the Jewish View on Cremation?
Six million of our people were denied proper burial, most of them cremated. Should we willfully continue that which our enemies began?
Why Do Mourners Recite Kaddish?
Many find it intriguing that the Kaddish makes no mention of the deceased. Kaddish speaks of G-d's greatness. What does this have to do with the one for whom I am saying Kaddish?
Who Are
How is comparing the loss of a loved one to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans two thousand years ago supposed to make me feel any better?
Can We Still Be In Touch?
I am almost embarrassed to say it, but I went to my grandmother's grave and begged her to come to my wedding. Did she hear me?
What's the Story with Reincarnation?
What's the story with reincarnation? Who is reincarnated, and why?
Haunted by Souls of the Past
I am a grandchild of Holocaust survivors but I feel haunted as if I went through it myself. I regularly see images of Auschwitz in dreams and flashes. I am sometimes even scared to tell people I am Jewish. Am I crazy?
The Death of a Friend
How do you respond to a part of you dying? You can resign to the inevitable and spend the rest of your years despondently awaiting full surrender. Or you can defy that taste of death by cherishing life even more...
What is the Torah's View on Abortion?
Jews Without Shoes
My grandmother always told me not to walk around the house in just socks and no shoes. Is there anything to this or is it an old wives tale?
What Happens After We Die?
Where do we go? What is heaven and hell? Do we ever get sent back for a second life? Is there any way to make contact with a departed loved one?
Can Everything Really Be Done With Joy?
Is There Proof of the Existence of a Soul?
The Rabbi and the Suicidal Teenager
I am really struggling with a lot of things in life. Work, dating, you know the drill. Sometimes I get depressed about my shortcomings. I sometimes think I am just a big failure.
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