Stephen Greenblatt replies:
In their complex, rich textual tradition, the Jews, like the Christians and the Muslims, speak with many voices, and it is always possible to find contradictions to almost any claim made about them. But in the Hebrew Bible Sheol, often translated as “hell,” simply refers to the grave, the melancholy destination, as Job makes clear, for both the righteous and the unrighteous. I see no evidence that Rabbinic Judaism developed anything like the vast, elaborately detailed subterranean torture chamber so graphically depicted in The Penguin Book of Hell.
The Jews had many worries, but the prospect of going to hell does not seem to have figured prominently among them.