Are You Waiting for Heaven? Or Is Heaven in You? Some Notes On Heaven and Hell.

I read a story about a wise man (how come these stories always feature a “wise man” and not a wise woman? Never mind!) Anyway, the man  had a dream that he got to heaven and was very disappointed. All he saw were other wise men studying around a table.

Oh, I’d be disappointed, too if that was heaven. But the message was this: It isn’t that the wise men were in paradise. Paradise is in the wise men.”

We have a chance to make our lives heaven or hell. We can find something—one little thing—to do to make our situation a bit better.

The same is true about hell. Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski was asked, what’s the difference between a religious person and a spiritual one?

A religious person is afraid of going to hell. A spiritual person has already been there.

Rabbi Twerski heard a woman once tell this story, “I am a football fan, a rabid Jets fan. I’ll never miss watching a Jets game. One weekend I had to be away, so I asked a friend to record the game on her VCR. When I returned, she handed me the tape and said, ‘By the way, the Jets won.’

“I started watching the tape, and it was just horrible! The Jets were being mauled. At half-time they were behind by twenty points. Under other circumstances, I would have been a nervous wreck. I would have been pacing the floor and hitting the refrigerator. But I was perfectly calm, because I knew they were going to win.

We don’t know what will happen. But we can trust that things will turn out OK.”

Life is a journey between two forevers. We can decide to do one little thing today that helps us find a bit of heaven.  Like Ted Danson on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — Everything’s “heaven” with him. The comment if he had a piece of gum, “I’m in heaven.”

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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