The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven
Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth
By Dr. Ron Wolfson
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2009, 152 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - December 8, 2009
People do not need to learn and memorize seven answers to seven questions and recite the answers as a password when they die to assure entry into heaven and eternal bliss. No, the problem, as Dr. Wolfson stresses, is how people live here on earth. It is important to answer the seven questions he raises now to live a more productive and enjoyable life.
All too many individuals have a passive life, although they do not realize it, a life in which they seem to wait for the moment of death when they can truly live. This passive life must be avoided.
Wolfson drew his teaching from Jewish sources and fills his book with many inspiring examples and many interesting and illustrative stories – perhaps close to a hundred. The surprising lessons that he offers are significant for people of all faiths. A person does not have to be Jewish or observe Jewish practices to enter heaven. The doors are open to everyone who God created.
The seven ideas that he offers are generally not what people would expect to hear, but when people read them they will realize that the seven can change and improve their lives. The following are two of them, told very briefly.
People need to enjoy all the earthly pleasures that should be enjoyed. Imagine appearing before God and telling the Almighty that you decided that it was far better to avoid all the things that he placed on earth for you to enjoy! You would be saying to God that he is a fool, that you know better. This is the misguided approach of many people who fatuously think that they are "pious." They dress in dark ugly clothes, cover up their women, avoid wine, keep away from movies and do not "waste time" looking at TV or art. They do not enjoy living and will not enjoy their death. A highly respected Jewish sage surprised his disciples when he insisted on traveling to Switzerland. He explained, "When I stand before the Almighty… I'm sure to be asked: 'Why didn't you see my Alps?'"
People also need to work to become the best that they can be? It is a waste to live an unfulfilled life. Imagine the dismay that parents would have if they see an unfulfilled person at the end of life; they had so much love for their child; they wanted so much for their child. Zusya once wisely said, when I die, God will not ask me was I as good as Moses. He will ask, have you been what Zusya could have been?
Imagine having the opportunity to acquire ten million dollars and imagine being so foolish that you do not take advantage of the opportunity to have enough money to live a better life. This is what occurs when a person shunts aside the opportunity to enjoy life and the opportunity to be all that he or she can be.
This is a book that can be enjoyed because of how it is written and how it can transform people to live the proper enjoyable life.