I am coming from a Christian background, and obviously our concept of Hell is that it is eternal. It makes me uncomfortable, but that’s what I was raised with. But I was curious as to what do Jews believe about Hell, and I learned that many Rabbis speak of Hell as not eternal, but as cleansing. Almost like the Catholic concept of purgatory, cleansing by spiritual fire, and that it lasts 12 months.
My question is, if that’s what occurs to all souls, and the max is 12 months, whats the motivation to stay the course religiously? Like someone like Ted Bundy, who killed 30 women, will be chastised for a max of 12 months, and ultimately go to the same place as all other souls, whats the incentive to do good works in this life? Obviously, love of the LORD would be one (and the most important one), but the only one, as nothing you do can merit permanent shame and disgrace past the cleansing.
I’m probably misunderstanding the concept in all fairness, if someone could enlighten me, I’d be very grateful.