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Meditation 427
Heaven and Hell

by Daniel Weiss

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Last night I watched a two hour Barbara Walters special on TV…WHERE IS HEAVEN?

She interviewed a number of theologians, the Dali Lama, and one or two agnostics.

I came away from the program thinking… WHAT A CROCK!

The theologians conceded the word of God in the Bible was written by man. The agnostic wanted proof God told man what to write in the Bible was pure gospel. There was no proof. Miracles or otherwise!

The theologians said all you need to believe in God was faith. The agnostic wanted proof there was a God, not idols, mountains, or the sun, or other parts of Nature that was and is worshipped as God(s).

We know many religions think of God in different ways. And we know, that their image of Heaven is reflected in their beliefs.

The Jews believe the Messiah is still to come; the Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah.  The Muslims on Mohammed and the killing of infidels (non-believers in the Islamic faith)... they should be killed. You will be rewarded in Heaven with 72 virgins. Is the woman who kills in the Muslim concept rewarded with 72 virginal men? There was no answer, just hemming and hawing.

The theologians said faith in their God was the true answer. Jews will be damned forever unless they turn to Jesus for salvation. In other words… the Jews are doomed to Hell! The concept of Hell was really not forthcoming. But Heaven was one of great peace, serenity and joy, and you will be able to unite with loved ones that passed away. What about animals you loved and have passed away?

All the above and one dollar will get you a cup of coffee in my favorite restaurant.

Below are a smattering of my thoughts about HEAVEN and HELL!


When you have lived over 90 years of age and you stutter everyday of your life…that is pure HELL…

Example: You go into a Deli and want to order some meats or cheese… you await your turn… when it comes, your heart beat increases… your palms sweat… you are going to stutter in ordering… you look around at the people waiting for their turn… you’re embarrassed… you feel like shit! That is HELL! You feel like some freak with all these people staring at you. You get your order and go on your way. You try to shrug off the incident, you accept the fact… you may think you are not normal like other fluent people… you keep running away from your thoughts and yourself. That is your only salvation; you cannot express your hurt… even to those closest to you. They just do not understand… or are too busy living their own lives and aspirations. In your mind, Hell for the handicapped, either physically or through the world of oral communication… it is ever present.

Example: You are 13 years of age in the 8th grade in Elementary School. You are in the science class, the teacher, a Mr. Morris calls upon you to answer a question: what is the dross on lead called?... Daniel knew the answer (metal impurities) as he got up to speak… the words would not come out… just utter silence and a straining in his vocal cords to speak… the entire class including the teacher begins to laugh… excepting one girl, Helen and one boy, Jimmy Connors. The teacher tells me to sit down. At recess time, the boy Jimmy Connors comes over to me, puts his arm around me and says, “Don’t worry Danny, I’m your friend.”  Jimmie’s comforting words were a part of Heaven… I will never forget.

Why has that one incident remained with me all these years and caused me to stop my education by quitting school and going to work as an errand boy. In those years, you could get working papers at 13-14 years of age. Why didn’t my immigrant parents understand my dilemma? They were too busy raising and feeding 9 kids… in the best fashion they knew how. I cannot fault them. My brothers, excepting Herman, paid little attention to me or my experiences. I do not choose to fault them, either.

I really wonder what would have happened in my life… were I a fluent person with normal speech and education… how far I could have gone. I know my life would have been altered and with the thought would I even be alive today… had I chosen other paths?

Even so, because of my stuttering… I made a world-wide contribution… from my writings, I authored Stuttering Awareness Week. As editor of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Stuttering Project; many foreign countries celebrate it for one day or more. Here, in the United States , President Reagan signed it into a proclamation in 1988. Senator Roth of Delaware pushed it through a unanimous vote in Congress. It is celebrated every May for one full week. The National Stuttering Project was conceived by two Jewish young men (stutterers) back in 1977. It was funded with $10,000 by a Jewish realtor in San Francisco .

It has helped many people in bringing peace and closure to their problem and shortcomings. That is part of the Jewish Heaven on earth.

I could cite many, many examples of Heaven and Hell during my lifetime.

Here is one that happened to be Heaven… even as I was typing this diatribe or whatever you may call it…

Frankie walks into the room and begins meowing… I know what she wants… attention… I put my legs up on the bed next to the computer, Frankie jumps to the bed and walks on my extended legs to my lap. She turns around; making herself comfortable, with her paws begins kneading the lower portion of my chest… looks into my eyes with her beautiful face expressing a silent love for her Mr. Mom. That is HEAVEN to me and more likely than not… Heaven to Frankie.

Being loved, wanted and needed is a Heavenly reward… even by an animal whose ancestors of 60 million years ago were ferocious creatures that came from a primordial cell in the ocean… just as we all did… and like it or not… believe it or not… we are all related in some fashion by millions and millions of mutations.

I could relate so many things on this earth that could in my thoughts originate in Heaven or Hell… but what is the use… those of us who are in a sense non-believers or skeptics are greatly outnumbered.

That is good… those of faith… are emboldened by their beliefs. Are they really the chosen ones?

No human being will be able to answer that question. It is human nature to make our own Heaven or Hell… on this earth… in all the years of our lives.