I said that was funny. She said she was serious. I said that’s what makes it funny. She asked why.
I asked her if she really thinks that Olam Haba is a commodity that can be bought, sold, or traded. She accused me of not believing in Olam Haba.
I responded that I did, but not in an Olam Haba that can be bought or sold. I used the example of memory; can one transfer his memories to someone else? Can they be exchanged? Same kinda thing. I don’t know exactly what the afterlife is, but I tend to think that it forms an organic whole with this life, that some sense of consciousness or identity remains after bodily demise.
I also sense that this is the meaning behind certain statements that make light of the cause-effect relationship between mitzvot and their reward, statements like “Torah is so geschmak that it’s worth going to Gehinnom for.” It’s a sense of humor which downplays the role of Olam Haba in everyday decisions and also jokes about the causality between actions in this world and their results in the next.