Orthodox Judaism/path to G-d

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QUESTION: Hi,
Hope you're well.

Islam teaches that it is the only path and Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only way, and I believe that both religions teach that anybody who doesn't accept their theology will burn in hell and suffer terrible punishments.

Does Judaism teach that it is the only path and that terrible things will happen to others, or anything like that?

Thanks for your help.

ANSWER: Thank you for your kind question. First let me say that both of your initial premises are not 100% accurate in that a good number of Christians now believe that there is more than one path to G-d and Islam, in general, likewise affords "salvation" to others of the Book (Torah, including Jews and Christians). Not universal of course but likewise not set in stone that others of other faiths are destined to hell unless they are of the same religion.

Now on to your question. Judaism believes that the righteous of all nations share in the world to come. We don't really have hell, at least not in the Christian understanding. Righteousness is defined as keeping the laws of Noah: sort of an abbreviated 10 commandments: no idolatry, no cruelty towards animals, no unlawful sexual unions, etc.  I leave it to you to Google.

No, one does not have to be Jewish to go to heaven. Hope that helps!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi,
Thanks for your reply.

Is it accurate that Judaism is the only Abrahamic religion that doesn't
believe in hell or salvation from hell as being contingent upon one's beliefs or acceptance of any theology?

Also, are you saying that the Koran and New Testament don't state what I wrote, or are you saying that not all Muslims and Christians take literally
what the texts teach?

Thanks again.

Answer
Thanks for the follow up. I'm not sure of the Muslim understanding or belief in hell, so I really can't answer your first question other than to say that Jews do not believe a compassionate G-d could sentence anyone to eternal punishment. Remember, G-d commands that the punishment must fit the crime.

I think your second question depends on the time period of Muhammed's writings and one's interpretation of them. Likewise, that Jesus is the only way really only appears in John which is the most anti-Jewish and latest (90-100 C.E.) gospel.

Hope that helps. Shalom

Orthodox Judaism

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Ovadiah ben Avraham

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Willing to answer and research general Halakhah questions in any field, including medical ethics. No synagogue or ritual type questions except by non-Jews looking for a brief summary.

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Yeshiva and self-study

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Jewish Spiritual Humanism

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Doctorate Degree

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