Among the fundamental differences between Judaism and Christianity is the fact that Christians are obsessed with getting to heaven while Jews are preoccupied with making earthly life heavenly. In other words, Judaism – pragmatically – is more concerned with the “here and now” rather than the “hereafter.” Logically, that is easy to understand: any statement regarding another plane of existence is speculative only. There is no hard evidence to prove or disprove any view about the great beyond. Consequently, Judaism prefers to act on doing those things that are in the domain of the possible rather than debate those things that are in the realm of the imaginative.
Having said all this, it would be wrong to conclude that Judaism has nothing to say about an afterlife or that the concept is foreign to Judaism. Quite the contrary: belief in a “world to come” and its particular manifestations are discussed in the Talmud and Midrash, the Apocrypha, and Kabbalistic literature. But the actual details are subject to wide differences of opinion.
Positing a “world to come” offers an effective response to the thorny question of how evil exists in a world created by a good and all-powerful God. Rather than conclude that God is neither all good nor all-powerful, belief in an afterlife allows for treating the question as one to be answered in due course. What seems to be unjust in this world will be levelled in the next world. If, in this world, good people suffer, in the next world they will be rewarded many times over. And if, in this world, wicked people prosper, in the next world they will be punished many times over.
I would recommend reading Simcha Paull Raphael’s comprehensive book entitled Jewish Views of the Afterlife, published in 1996.