Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Eiruvin 19a

Growing up, I was taught that Jews do not really think about the concept of "hell" very much; we think more about the 'here and now' than what happens after we die.  More recently I have learned that some orthodox communities focus a good amount of energy and thought on the World-to-Come. Not about hell, necessarily, but about 'heaven', or a place of perfection; somehow related to the coming of Moshiach.  

Today's daf begins a conversation about Gehenna, or hell, that is fascinating to me.   Seven different names for Gehenna are explained, citing proofs from a various sources.  In a note, Steinsaltz tells us that each of those names is said to represent a deeper layer of hell.  

Having never studied or seen these ideas before, today's reading was especially interesting.  Almost as interesting was the abrupt return to the rabbi's discussion of posts and boundaries.

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