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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 19:33:29 -0500 Subject: Dogma in Judaism I am making one small point to Ronald Cohen's big question: If Judaism is not fundamentally dogmatic but action oriented then why e.g are people who deny the resurrection or the coming of Mesiah have no share in the next world" My claim is the following: A person who doesn't believe in say the resurrection but nevertheless meticulously does all Mitzvoth because God commanded them, DOES in my opinion have a share in the next world. BUT, a person who isn't that careful about MITZVOTH (even if all he avoids are "minor mitzvoth" like going to MInyan ) does not have a share in the next world In other words: Lack of belief only denys you a share in the afterlife when that lack of belief is COUPLED with lack of observance. If such is the case then Ronald would have an answer to his question. I don't have strong proof for this but I do have some support: The rambam in Repentance clearly gives reasons for various people losing their share in the next world: e.g. "...because he separates himself from the community (another question of Ronalds) therefore he is not there to do repentance with them..." It follows, that the act of separation is not what causes the denial of share in the afterlife but rather the act of separation is a catalyst for more serious things (like not doing Teshuva). If we extend this "reason for losing the afterlife share" approach to the other categories then we would be able to derive the conclusion I mentioned above: e.g. Since he denies the resurrection he does not see any reward past this world and therefore if times are hard he will not be motivated to do Mitzvoth and will THEN lose his share. Although this is only a speculation I believe reading these 24 categories in LIGHT OF WHY THEY ARE SO SERIOUS is a good approach with much merit. Russell Hendel, Phd, ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu