Gehenna - Jewish afterlife (Hell)

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  • Created on: 01-06-13 11:25


1) The word 'Gehenna' originates from the area outside Jerusalem which was used as a rubbish dump, and also where followers of other religions would sacrifice their children.

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2) Jews vary in their beliefs as to whether Gehenna is a physical place or just a spiritual realm. Gehenna is occasionally describes as underground, as people "go down to" Gehenna. Some people believe that the size of Gehenna can expand depending on how many people are there.

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3) Gehenna is often referred to as a place of exceedingly hot fire. The 'ordinnary' fire on Earth is decribed as "one-sixtieth of the fire in Gehenna"

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4) Despite this fire, Gehenna is also described as a place of great darkness. "And Moses streched forward his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness" Exodus 10:22

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5) The vast majority of Jews believe that those who go to Gehenna will not reside their indefinitely. Instead, souls will be sent to Gehenna for a mixture of 'punishment and purification', and the usual amount of time spent there will be 12 months. At this stage souls will rise into Gan Eden.

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