Monday, December 17, 2018

Part 3: Afterlife Through the Eyes of Muslims

Nadene Goldfoot                                         

Created through Mohammad (570-632 CE) ,Islam is the religion of the messenger, Mohammed of Saudi Arabia,   an Arab Chieftain of Mecca.  It's more like Judaism in that the message is the important factor, not the messenger which is found in Christianity.  Mohammad was illiterate, living  in the city of Medina with many tribes of Jews who had storytellers sitting outside reciting their Biblical stories.  Mohammad heard them and admired these people of the Book, which was their Torah.  He wanted his people to be 'People of the Book," too, so created by dictation, his Koran.  He also taught that there was only one G-d, and that Islam was the religion of submission to the will of Allah (G-d).  Just what the will of G-d is differs many times in Islam compared to what it is in Judaism and Christianity.  That's the differences between the 3 religions. 

 The word Islam means submission.  Mohammad is said to have conversed with the angel, Gabriel, mentioned  in the Torah,  in receiving his information.  Up to then, their religion had been more polytheistic. 

  He believed in converting Jews by the sword.  Whole tribes were converted that way that lived in Medina because their answer to accept was to decline the offer.  Islam is the 2nd largest religious group with 1.3 billion followers.  

"Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia was a mix of polytheism,Christianity, Judaism, and Iranian religionsArab polytheism, the dominant belief system, was based on the belief in deities and other supernatural beings such as djinn.  Gods and goddesses were worshipped at local shrines, such as the Kaaba in Mecca.
                                                                      

Death in Islam is the termination of worldly life and the beginning of afterlife. Death is seen as the separation of soul from body, and its transfer from this world to the afterlife.  How to get to Paradise is the question.  Ākhirah (Arabic: الآخرة) is an Islamic term referring to the afterlife. It is repeatedly referenced in chapters of the Quran concerning the Last Judgment, an important part of Islamic eschatology. Traditionally, it is considered to be one of the six main beliefs of Muslims. According to the Islamic beliefs, God will play the role of the qadi, weighing the deeds of each individual. He will decide whether that person's ʾākhirah lies in Jahannam (Hell) or Jannah (Heaven) on the basis of the weight of either good or bad deeds in comparison with one another."

Mohammad introduced his Articles of Belief
1.  The Unity of G-d:  There is no G-d save Allah.  This comes directly from the 10 Commandments from Moses to the Israelites.   It was a new concept to the Arabs, however. 
2. All the prophets that G-d sent for the guidance of the people, now have the last prophet, Muhammad.  They believe that after him there will be no other.  Jews had said this in their day and said that Malachi(460-450 BCE)  was the last one, and that the days of Prophets was over.  Malachi also meant "my messenger."  They also believed that all the Jewish prophets including Moses was a prophet.  They include Jesus as a prophet, however, which Judaism does not.  Abraham is their friend of G-d;  Moses is called the spokesman of G-d, Jesus is called the spirit of G-d, and the word of Mohammad is called the messenger of G-d.                                                                   

4.  The Final Judgment:  eschatological topics as Heaven, Hell, Day of Judgment, Resurrection, purgatory and Limbo.  Muslims have practically the same views as Christians.  Muhammad, however, is not considered to be an intercessor.  Only those who repent and believe and are righteous in action and those who are martyrs for their faith of Islam will go to Paradise.  The duties of Angels are to record men's actions, act as witnesses on the DAY OF JUDGMENT, hold G-d's throne, and be useful to entities that G-d favors.  Jinns are like little devils.  They try to lead people astray and oppose the Prophet.  It's like the Christian idea of "the Devil made me do it." 

As a Muslim lays dying, he also must utter an article of faith, saying,"There is no G-d except Allah."  Jews say the Shema.  Shema YIsrael Adonoi Eloheinu Adonoi Echad.  Hear O Israel (Deut. 6:4).  proclaiming the absolute unity of G-d, our confession of our faith.  

"Muslims believe in the continued existence of the soul and a transformed physical existence after death. Islam teaches that there will be a day of judgment when all humans will be divided between the eternal destinations of Paradise and Hell.  Last Day, on which the world will be destroyed and Allah will raise all people and jinn from the dead to be judged. The Last Day is also called the Day of Standing Up, Day of Separation, Day of Reckoning, Day of Awakening, Day of Judgment, The Encompassing Day or The Hour."

"It's a physical resurrection,  "suggesting that Allah will re-create the decayed body (17:100: "Could they not see that God who created the heavens and the earth is able to create the like of them"?)  They are either granted admission to Paradise, where they will enjoy spiritual and physical pleasures forever, or condemned to Hell to suffer spiritual and physical torment for eternity."
                                                           
One version of Paradise
"The day of judgment is described as passing over Hell on a narrow bridge in order to enter Paradise. Those who fall, weighted by their bad deeds, will remain in Hell forever. The Quran specifies two exceptions to this general rule:


    - Warriors who die fighting in the cause of God are ushered immediately to God's presence (Surah 2:159 and Surah 3:169); and - "Enemies of Islam" are sentenced immediately to Hell upon death."
"The angel of death (ArabicMalak al-Maut) appears to the dying to take out their souls. The sinners' souls are extracted in a most painful way while the righteous are treated easily. After the burial, two angels – Munkar and Nakir – come to question the dead in order to test their faith. The righteous believers answer correctly and live in peace and comfort while the sinners and disbelievers fail and punishments ensue. The time period or stage between death and the end of the world is called the life of barzakh. 

"Suicideeuthanasia, and unjust murder as means of death are all prohibited in Islam, and are considered major sins."  
                                                                    
Fatah terrorists join up with Hamas Terrorists,
on their way to martydom
The Quran itself gives only brief references about the period between death and the resurrection. However it mentions that certain individuals such as martyrs are alive and not dead and also indicates, that some are already in hell  The term Barzakh indicates that the deceased and the living are entirely separated and can not interact with each other. Otherwise the Barzakh refers to the whole period between the Day of Resurrection and death and is used synonymously for "grave". Despite the brief mentionings of the Quran, Islamic tradition discusses elaborately, almost in graphic detail, as to what exactly happens before, during, and after death.
                                                      

After the burial each person is interrogated in the grave by two angels, called Munkar and Nakir, appointed by God to question the dead in order to test their faith. The righteous believers answer correctly and live in peace and comfort while the sinners and disbelievers fail and punishments ensue. In the life of Barzakh, the souls of the sinners and disbelievers are kept and punished in a place called Sijjin which is said to be located at the lowest level of the earth (traditionally hell, before the Day of resurrection or underworld). The books containing the full records of their deeds are also kept here. On the other hand, the souls of the righteous believers are kept in a place called Illiyin. Their books of deeds are also kept here. According to some account, Illiyin is located in the heaven." 

This is similar to the Jewish belief that on Yom Kippur, we are judged and if worthy, our name goes into the book of LIFE.  Where the book is kept is not discussed.  
                                                  

After the questioning, depending on the state of the soul, the deceased will undergo different journeys. The sinner's or disbelievers will meet the harsh angels or even the Zabaniyya to take position in front of him. Thereupon they tell the soul to come out to the wrath of God. Being terrified, the soul desperately tries to hide itself in the body. Thereupon, the angels of death starts beating the soul and extracts it from the body in a most painful way. The painful process of taking out a sinner's soul has been compared with "the dragging of an iron skewer through moist wool, tearing the veins and sinews." The soul of the sinner is then wrapped in a dirty cloth which emits bad smell. Carrying the soul, the angels head towards the heaven. On the way, other angels inquire about this wicked soul. They are told that this is the soul of that and that sinner person. The angels then arrive at the upper heaven, but its doors are not opened for the evil soul. Consequently, the soul is then thrown into hell or underworld, where it is punished until the Day of Judgment.
The righteous have the opposite experience with angels coming with perfume and the shroud and the soul comes out of the body and taken to the 7th heaven, so the soul goes back into the body and is questioned by 2 angels, getting heavenly rewards.  They also share the Limbo idea of Christians, just remain in the grave.  However, martyrs get preferential treatment as usual.  They skip Limbo and the trial and go directly to Paradise.  It is said that they receive 72 virgins as a reward for good behavior.  
"The Qur’an tells us also that Muslims arriving to Paradise will be married with these newly created beings, whom no man or jinn has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse before:Qur’an 55:54–56—They will recline on Carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be near (and easy of reach)."
                                                                         
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
 The frightening experience many people have in the Middle East and even worldwide is coming in contact with ISIS, an extreme Muslim political and religious group of terrorists.  Their leader told his followers that masterbating will cause their hands to become pregnant in the afterlife.   

Islam has always been the dominant religion of many different empires.  They have never really been subjugated except by the Crusaders in Jerusalem during the Middle Ages.  They have been able to obtain Sharia law in many of the new towns and cities they now are living in.  




Resource:  http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/afterlife
Book:  Middle East Past & Present by Yahya Armajani and Thomas M. Ricks-Portland State U. text.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_view_of_death
https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-Islam-offers-72-virgins-in-the-afterlife-to-the-believers-of-that-religion
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805210881/jewishfamilycom/
https://newsexaminer.net/politics/isis-leader-tells-followers-masturbation-will-cause-hands-pregnant/



Part 2 Afterlife Through Eyes of Christians


Nadene Goldfoot                                   
                                                                     
                                                                     
Pastor John Hagee 
John Charles Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee is also the CEO of his non-profit corporation, Global Evangelism Television. He is the 5th of 6 pastors in his family, all of whom were named John Hagee, dating back to the colonial era. Wikipedia He's of the Evangelical group of Christians that study
their Old Testament.  Hagee even conferred with a rabbi and wrote:


 IN DEFENSE 
OF ISRAEL 
.
" ... there will never be a day when you will not be, from now on. One million years, 10 million years, 50 million years from this moment your going to be alive and well, either in the splendor of heaven, or the horror of hell. I want you to hear this. You are going to live forever, the only question is where? - John Hagee.
Harold Lee Lindsey is an American evangelist and Christian writer. He is a Christian Zionist and dispensationalist author and television host, and
author of THE LATE GREAT PLANET, EARTH. I find that Evangelists
are the Christian group who read the Old Testament (Tanakh) the most. He
brought a group of Christians to Jerusalem and was at the Temple Mount.

Of the afterlife he says  his thoughts from Romans: which is in the New Testament.  Mostly, it's about sinning and being saved by Jesus Christ.  


First, understand that sin’s power to operate in the life of the Christian has been neutralized by our being united with Christ in His death. Sin is no longer your boss. Romans 6 says, “Our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin….  So consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts….  For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.”  (Romans 6: 6, 7, 11, 12, 14 NASB)

Both Evangelicals are very supportive of Israel, while we see just the opposite in many other groups, even with some Jews today!  This is because of their understanding of our prophets and their concept of what will happen to Israel in the end times.  They need some Jews to fulfill their own religious outcome.  It's nice to finally be needed in the world after all the slander we have been under for the past 2,000 years.  This is why Hagee has not tried, at least to my knowledge, to convert Jews, as Christianity has tried to do for the past 2,000 years.  
Crusades upon reaching Jerusalem slaughtered Muslims
 and Jews alike in the Middle Ages in taking the land from Muslims who held Palestine.  There were about 5 Crusades starting in 1096 CE
going on till 1320 attacking Jews in France and Spain. Later,
by 1492 Spain will be fully into their Spanish Inquisition,
ridding themselves of Jews in their country where they were forced to
convert or leave.  None of this had any affect on their afterlife, evidently
as they all believed in Jesus.  

Christianity today is the most popular religion in the world  with  a 2 million population.  Compare that with the 14 million Jews we have today.   It's beginning took place with the followers in Judah of Jesus, born to Joseph and Mary.  Jesus was from Bethlehem, a smaller town than the large city of Jerusalem with all the astute rabbis.  He had his own interpretation of the political scene of his day, being born somewhere around 30 BCE. 

 At that period, Roman soldiers were occupying Judah, calling it Judea, and they were pretty rough with the population back then.  Judah had already suffered the Greek-Syrian occupation  earlier from 174 to 163 BCE when Antiochus IV Epiphanes had ordered the takeover of the coveted 2nd Temple.  They not only wanted their riches and loot, but wanted to Romanize the population into believing in their polytheistic religion, and had moved a statue of Zeus into the Temple along with other idols and such, forcing the people to follow their culture.  
                                                      

So Jesus and his 12 male followers lived in an atmosphere of Judaism, overlaid with Greek and Roman beliefs from occupiers forcing their thoughts upon the people for several hundred years already.  Life was almost unbearable for these 12 and all the other people.  They almost forgot what freedom of choice was, as the 12 were not students, but were workers, such as fishermen.  They were highly impressed by Jesus when they heard him speak, as he could get down to their level of understanding with stories of examples or parables.  There were the brothers Simon AKA Peter and Andrew, both fishermen; Matthew the tax collector, brothers James, and John;  James the Less;  Philip, Thaddeus, Thomas, Bartholomew, Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot.  
                                                                   
The Roman Empire in 325 CE was led by Emperor Constantine I who held the First Council of Nicaea in Turkey with followers of Jesus to decide for his Empire how to fit him into their polytheistic religion.  "Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of "God the Son" and his relationship to "God the Father", the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed, establishing uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law".  It was at this meeting that Jews were said to be a problem and further strict laws concerning them were laid down.  They turned against the people from where most of Jesus's good teachings came from, seeing them as competitors to their new-found power over the population.  

Emperor Constantine's mother, Helena, had become a Christian in about 312 CE, and had visited Jerusalem, looking for items to take back home.  
                                   
American Baptist Church

"Mainstream Christianity professes belief in the Nicene Creed, and English versions of the Nicene Creed in current use include the phrase: "We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come." Although punishments are made part of certain Christian conceptions of the afterlife, the prevalent concept of "eternal damnation" is a tenet of the Christian afterlife."   What I hear the most as a Jew is that I won't go to heaven unless I "believe in Jesus."  Other Christians within earshot always concur with this. Jews feel that only they can help themselves in any afterlife and perform mitzvot, good deeds to have a clean slate.  
                                                                         
Jesus on stained glass window
The followers thought that Jesus was so special that they thought he was the son of G-d spoken of in their religious understanding of G-d.  This is where his followers broke away from the prevailing Jewish religion.  Judaism does not worship anyone.  They admired intelligence, but did not worship even Moses who led out 603,550 Israelites out of Egypt and delivered 601,730 into the border of Canaan after a 40 year trek.  He died, being sure to not let people know where exactly he laid in death, not wanting to be worshiped.

As I see it, the aim of Christianity's teachings is to be saved in afterlife.  They feel that if one believed that Jesus is the son of G-d and performed miraculous acts such as walking on water and turning water into wine, they will live after death with Jesus, of course.  They teach mostly about afterlife in their churches.  The teachings of Jesus come from his own Jewish background.  He was teaching Judaism and upgrading it for his own experience in the modern century of his day.  As we learned earlier in Part I, Judaism did not have much dogma about afterlife of the dead, and Christianity goes into it.  
                                                                       
"Jesus also maintained that the time would come when the dead would hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who were in the tombs would come out, who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation".(1)  

"The non-canonical Acts of Paul and Thecla speak of the efficacy of prayer for the dead, so that they might be "translated to a state of happiness"(1)

" The Catholic conception of the afterlife teaches that after the body dies, the soul is judged, the righteous and free of sin enter Heaven. However, those who die in unrepented mortal sin go to hell. In the 1990s, the Catechism of the Catholic Church defined hell not as punishment imposed on the sinner but rather as the sinner's self-exclusion from God. Unlike other Christian groups, the Catholic Church teaches that those who die in a state of grace, but still carry venial sin go to a place called Purgatory where they undergo purification to enter Heaven."   "The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection. Catechism of the Catholic Church."                        
Christian version of Hell

 Limbo was never recognized as a dogma of the Catholic Church, yet, at times, it has been a very popular theological theory within the Church. Limbo is a theory that unbaptized but innocent souls, such as those of infants, virtuous individuals who lived before Jesus Christ was born on earth, or those that die before baptism exist in neither Heaven or Hell proper. Therefore, these souls neither merit the beatific vision, nor are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin although they have not received baptism, so still bear original sin. So they are generally seen as existing in a state of natural, but not supernatural, happiness, until the end of time.                                             
Jesus' descent into Limbo

In other Christian denominations it has been described as an intermediate place or state of confinement in oblivion and neglect. 

The notion of purgatory is associated particularly with the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, all those who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven or the final purification of the elect,  While the Catholic Church has a defined doctrine on original sin, it has none on the eternal fate of unbaptized infants, leaving theologians free to propose different theories, which magisterium is free to accept or reject.  Limbo is one such theory.  
Catholics took the story from Genesis in the Torah of Adam eating the apple that Eve offered to him when they were told not to eat of it, and call that the ORIGINAL SIN.  From this, it's believed that all of us are sinners and must be saved--by Jesus.  
Anglicans of the Anglo-Catholic tradition generally also hold to the belief. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed in an intermediate state between death and the resurrection of the dead and in the possibility of "continuing to grow in holiness there", but Methodism does not officially affirm this belief and denies the possibility of helping by prayer any who may be in that state.                                              
Bethlehem Christians, down to 2% of the city's population, held 11,000 Christians in 2016 with Islamist population moving in. In the 1970s, Christians made up 5% of Bethlehem's population.   
Greek Orthodox in Jerusalem
History, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire.  Today, the most important centres of Christian Orthodox monasticism are Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), Meteora at Thessaly in GreeceMount Athos in Greek MacedoniaMar Saba in the Bethlehem Governorate of the West Bank, and the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian on the island of Patmos in Greece.
The Greek Orthodox Church is a little different from western Christianity.  " Orthodoxy is traditionally non-dualist and does not teach that there are two separate literal locations of heaven and hell, but instead acknowledges that "the 'location' of one's final destiny—heaven or hell—as being figurative." 
                                                      
Thou shalt not steal, one of 10 Commandments from Moses.  
"Instead, Orthodoxy teaches that the final judgment is simply one's uniform encounter with divine love and mercy, but this encounter is experienced multifariously (a lot of variety) depending on the extent to which one has been transformed, partaken of divinity (godliness) , and is therefore compatible or incompatible with God."  In other words, the final judgment depends on your behaviors while alive.  
Correction: 11:3am-not juice but water...
Resource:  https://jewishbubba.blogspot.com/2018/11/religions-of-world-reminder.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterlife (1)
https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Apostles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_Orthodox_Church
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-limbo/catholic-church-buries-limbo-after-centuries-idUSL2028721620070420
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_(empress)
http://biblelight.net/death.htm

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Part I Afterlife Through Eyes of Jews, Christians and Muslims

Nadene Goldfoot                                     
Psalm by King David: 23:4
Though I walk in the valley overshadowed by death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in view of my tormentors.  You anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.  May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of Hashem for long days. (5)
                                                           JUDAISM

    There are passages in the Tanakh (Bible) that indicate that the early Hebrews looked upon death as rejoining one's fathers.  After death, a certain type of existence still continued in SHEOL(the dwelling of the dead, far below the earth, usually the dwelling of the wicked),  and the dead were considered to have certain psychic powers.    

In later Hebew eschaology, death would cease and all the dead would rise.  This idea of Resurrection became the fundamental doctrine of Pharisaic Judaism, and reiterated that faith in G-d was the reviver of the dead.  There are legends that the dead carry on some connection with the living and even take an interest in their affairs.  This is how praying for the intercession of the dead is considered by the rabbis as of early origin.  When a Jew is dying, his last act  is to say the Shema.(4)
                                                         

                                 Olam Ha-Ba, The World To Come
                                 Olam Ha-Zeh is the material world
                                  The Olam Ha-Ba is another, higher state of being,
                        the eternal world of the spirit to which the human
                        soul passes after death.  
                        It also means the period following the advent of the 
                       Messiah, when all the world will be perfected.                                                                                     
At my Bubba's grave,Zlata Goldfoot nee Jermulowske
                                                 
                                                                           "Traditional Judaism firmly believes that death is not the end of human existence. However, because Judaism is primarily focused on life here and now rather than on the afterlife, Judaism does not have much dogma about the afterlife, and leaves a great deal of room for personal opinion. 

1. It is possible for an Orthodox Jew to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven.

2. Another belief is that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes.

3. Then again,  they may simply wait until the coming of the messiah, when they will be resurrected".  Many believe that the End of Times" is near. (3)  It was Isaiah who had the vision when army-surplus swords would serve as plowshares.  Our intellect tells us we can get there by  human effort, treaty by treaty,  on tank refurbished as a tractor at a time.  Isaiah was the father of evolutionary politics.  But, in another prophecy he warns of the day of the Lord in which He will make the earth a desolation and destroy the sinners thereof out of it.  Then Zechariah also told of the cataclysm.  All the nations gather to fight against Jerusalem.  It's not a pretty picture, and too realistic for me to repeat.  Read Gorenberg's book p. 40. 

 4. Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist." That's because logic tells us that there must be a cause and an affect for acting badly.(1)"

Jewish tradition about death, says Donin, has been realistic.  He quotes:

(Genesis 3:19), "but the spirit returns to G-d who gave it.
(Ecclesiastes 12:7). "The end of man is death," said Rabbi Johnanan.
(Berakhot 17a. Simply put, we shall all die.
                                                    
6 million Tragic deaths-from the Holocaust
We do not consider this a tragedy.  A tragic death is an untimely death by its nature or unfortunate circumstances.  The world we live in is viewed as a corridor that leads to still another world.  Olam Haba is where man is judged and where his soul continues to flourish.  This belief is imbedded in Jewish thought, as 
(Mishna Sanhedrin 11:1) "All Israel have a share in the world to come." 

We desire to maintain the dignity of the deceased and to comfort the pain of the mourners.  
                                                   
Reviving the custom, even the Reformed
   
ORTHODOX CUSTOMS:  We follow burial customs.  The dead after being washed by specialists previously chosen for this task called the Hevra Kadisha (Sacred Society).   put the deceased in white robes.  A man is wrapped in his talit which had its fringes are made invalid as he is not now required to practice his earthly requirements.  We do not believe in embalming.  Blood is part of the person so much also must be buried and is not considered a waste product meant for the garbage pile.  It's a closed casket burial.  We do not cremate the body and the burial must take place in the earth.  
(Genesis 3:19)"For dust you are and to dust you shall return.
(Deut: 21:23) You must surely bury him."

Autopsies are prohibited and thought of as a desecration of the dead.  However, in this day and age allowances have been made if there was a reasonable prospect that it would contribute to saving the life of other patients at hand.  It's permitted in cases of hereditary diseases, to safeguard the life of surviving relations, and if required by civil law of the land-as in foul play. 
                                                      
Burial is within 24 hours.  It can be postponed only for the honor of the dead as waiting for close relatives to arrive from a distance, or a Sabbath or if a festival intervenes.                                 

We do not bury on the Sabbath.  A Jew does not participate in the burial on the 1st day of a festival.

If you see a Jewish person with a torn sleeve, this is the religiously proper way to express grief for the dead.  It is a time honored and ancient sign of grief and mourning going back to Biblical times.  The garment torn is worn for the week of mourning called shiva except on the Sabbath.  During the time of cutting the garment, a special prayer is said, Blessed art Thou, Lord our G-d, the true Judge. "Baruch ata adonai elohainu melech ha-olam dayan ha-emet." 
                                                   
Notice that you may think as you wish about what happens to us when we die.  Most of our thoughts are really to help those that are alive to get through this stressful time, and this time-honored tradition is time-proven to help us.  

If the mourner is a male Cohen(as synagogue tradition) , he has more tradition to follow than for those of us Israelites.  He cannot touch the dead, even in being in the same room with the corpse.  He may be involved with the these relatives; wife, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, unmarried sister.  
                                                 
A son  is expected to say Kaddish prayer said in Aramaic,  daily for 11 months.  It's regarded as an act of reverence for a deceased parent.  It's said in the synagogue so that there are 10 men saying it together.  It's not a prayer for the deceased but for the living, and is saying praise of G-d, a declaration of deep faith in the greatness of the Almighty and is a petition for ultimate redemption and salvation.  Kaddish means holy , like Kiddush, the prayer of sanctification for the Sabbath or festival.  This prayer goes back to the 2nd Temple.  

For as the Zohar says, "If the son walks in the crooked path, he brings dishonor and shame on his father.  If he walks in the straight path and his deeds are upright, then he confers honor on him both in this world among men AND IN THE NEXT WORLD WITH G-D. 

What we do accept is the Resurrection.  "The resurrection of the dead will occur in the messianic age, a time referred to in Hebrew as the Olam Ha-Ba, the World to Come, but that term is also used to refer to the spiritual afterlife. When the messiah comes to initiate the perfect world of peace and prosperity, the righteous dead will be brought back to life and given the opportunity to experience the perfected world that their righteousness helped to create. The wicked dead will not be resurrected."  "The Olam Ha-Ba is another, higher state of being." I take that to mean that we will not be in today's physical bodies.  
                                                                       
"There are some mystical schools of thought that believe resurrection is not a one-time event, but is an ongoing process. The souls of the righteous are reborn in to continue the ongoing process of tikkun olam, mending of the world. Some sources indicate that reincarnation is a routine process, while others indicate that it only occurs in unusual circumstances, where the soul left unfinished business behind. Belief in reincarnation is also one way to explain the traditional Jewish belief that every Jewish soul in history was present at Sinai and agreed to the covenant with G-d. (Another explanation: that the soul exists before the body, and these unborn souls were present in some form at Sinai). Belief in reincarnation is commonly held by many Chasidic sects, as well as some other mystically-inclined Jews." (3)

Since we do believe in the resurrection, we practice the acts of doing mitzvot, or good deeds.  Whether we are or not depends on us and no other.  It's our deeds we're being judged for.  We try to be as righteous as we can.  

                                 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE

Those very righteous people will go to Gan Eden (Garden of Eden), a perfect place,  it is a place of spiritual perfection.  The average person descends to a place of punishment and/or purification, generally referred to as Gehinnom (guh-hee-NOHM) (in Yiddish, Gehenna), but sometimes as She'ol or by other names. According to one mystical view, every sin we commit creates an angel of destruction (a demon), and after we die we are punished by the very demons that we created. Some views see Gehinnom as one of severe punishment, a bit like the Christian Hell of fire and brimstone. Other sources merely see it as a time when we can see the actions of our lives objectively, see the harm that we have done and the opportunities we missed, and experience remorse for our actions. The period of time in Gehinnom does not exceed 12 months, and then ascends to take his place on Olam Ha-Ba." I"ve even read that we get a reprieve for Shabbat. 
                                                     
Merkabah, sacred chariot or wheel in mysticism
I love our star of David and
this is delightful as a figure. 
1. Reference: http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm
2. Book: To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Haleavy Donin, p.296-297 and on til p.310.  
3. THE END OF DAYS-FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR THE TEMPLE MOUNT by Gershom Gorenberg
4. The New Standard Jewish Enyclopedia
5. The Stone Edition of the Tanakh, The Torah/Prophets/Writings (Bible)