Thirteen Principles


Thirteen Principles

January 24, 2018
Orit Esther Riter
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What is Emuna? To paraphrase Sefer Hachinuch, Mitzva 25- It is the belief that the world has only One G-d and it is through His power and desire that everything ever was, is and will come to exist. Emuna is the foundation of Judaism. Emuna is believing in this fundamental truth as outlined in the Torah and that anything else is simply impossible. This teaching relates to Hashem’s greatness and goodness and our lack of strength and understanding to grasp all matters. From where do we attain our Emuna? R’ Hirsch ztk’l teaches that emuna is the trust that develops from our experience with Hashem’s power and reliability. It is expressed through our willingness to allow our lives to be directed and developed in accordance to His will.

The RamBam ztk’l outlines the thirteen principles of emuna as follows:

1) We must believe that any part of existence is impossible without the existence of our Creator. Yet, the Creator requires nothing for His existence.
2) There is only One G-d. Nothing in the universe can be compared to His Oneness.
3) G-d has no body or physical aspect
4) G-d has always been in existence and always will be. He is eternal.
5) There is no power besides G-d whom it is fitting to serve.
6) G-d bestows prophecy to those who follow all of the Torah commandments and merit to perfect their personal attributes.
7) The prophecy of Moshe was greater than any other prophecy before or since.
8) Belief that the entire Torah is true and completely accurate as dictated to Moshe by G-d.
9) Since the entire Torah comes from G-d, one may not add to it or take away from it.
10) G-d is aware of all of our actions.
11) There is reward and punishment for our actions.
12) Mashiach ben Dovid can come at any time and he will be a greater king than any other human king.
13) At the proper time, there will be a revival of the dead for those righteous individuals who deserve it.

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