Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 

The source for the following summary of each of these thirteen principles is Maimonides' introduction to the tenth chapter of the Mishnaic tractate, Sanhedrin.

  1. The existence of the world or any part of it is dependent upon the existence of the single, unique Creator. But the existence of this Creator, the Master of the universe, is not dependent on anything.

  2. This principle is known as "Yichud" -- G-d's Oneness. There is only one G-d. He is unique, and is without any divisions. There is nothing in the universe with which we can compare His Oneness. This aspect of G-d's existence is clear from the verse "Hear, oh Israel, G-d is our Lord, G-d is one." (Deut. 6 4).

  3. G-d has no body or any physical aspect, nor is His Power that of a physical body. This principle builds on the logic of the previous one. If G-d were to have a body, it would limit Him to the confines of that body, and therefore He would not be infinite and incomparable in the same way. There are many places in the Bible where G-d is described as "stretching out His hand" (or doing some similar physical action). These are only figures of speech (anthropomorphisms). They are sublime actions couched in words that humans can understand.

  4. G-d has always existed and always will. He is eternal. Again, if this weren't true, and G-d would be limited (by time) and he would no longer be "infinite."

  5. Idolatry: There is no individual or power besides G-d whom it is fitting to worship or serve. Even to worship (or attribute independent power to) intermediaries (like angels, other human beings, stars or planets) is forbidden. Such worship is in the category of idolatry. G-d created the universe and every single one of its parts, it is to Him that we owe all of our gratitude and subservience.

  6. The sixth principle of the Rambam is "Nevu'a" - prophecy. G-d grants prophecy to people who have perfected their personal character and who follow all the commandments of the Torah. Prophecy does not come to unlearned and unprepared people.

  7. The prophecy of our teacher Moses (through whom the Torah was transmitted at Mt Sinai) was greater than all other prophecy in four ways:
    1. It was not "heard" through any intermediary (i.e. an angel, a cloudy vision) but was directly from G-d.
    2. It was always given while Moshe was wide awake, in complete control of his faculties.
    3. Moshe was not overcome with shaking and dread as were other prophets, but was calm and alert.
    4. Moshe had the incredible ability to summon prophecy at will. Other prophets had to prepare and wait until G-d chose to appear.

  8. The giving of the Torah: The words of the Written Torah (the "Five Books of Moses") are the true and completely accurate words of G-d. The words in the Torah were dictated by G-d to Moshe. In essence, the verse "Shema Yisroel..." - (Hear O Israel...) is just as meaningful to us as the lists of names and places written in the Torah. They all come from G-d and there is great, limitless wisdom to be found in every word. G-d also taught Moshe how to carry out the commandments found in the Written Torah; these G-d-given explanations form part of what we call the Oral Torah.

  9. Since the entire Torah comes from G-d, one may not add to it or subtract from it (i.e. add or subtract commandments. For instance to say that there is no commandment of Tefillin...).

  10. G-d is aware of all our actions and does not ignore them.

  11. There is reward and punishment for our actions in this world.

  12. The Messiah (lit "anointed one"), a descendant of King David, will come, and could come at any time. He will be wiser than King Soloman and possess a level of prophecy close to that of Moses.

  13. There will eventually be a revival of the dead.


Rabbi Boruch Clinton teaches at the Ottawa Torah Institute yeshiva high school and Machon Sarah high school for girls (both in Ottawa, Canada). You may reach him with comments and questions at bclinton@torah.org.

You can now read some of Rabbi Clinton's essays on Torah life at http://www.ncf.ca/~es625/essays

You can also buy his collection of essays on the Book of Shmuel (Samuel) in printed form at www.lulu.com/marbitzmedia

Copyright 2000 by Rabbi Boruch Clinton and Project Genesis, Inc.

 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND PESACH:

View Complete List

Will That Be A Medium, Or Well Done?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

The Great Shabat
- 5773

Another Link in the Chain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Tzafun-Nirtza
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Relating the Chain of Events: Part 3
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Not Just an Act of Kindness
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5766

> Ordering Priorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

For I am Holy
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

15 Steps To Freedom
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Power of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Holiness Happens
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Pesach Questions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

ArtScroll

A Ritual Memory Transfer
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

Fun vs. Pleasure
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Too Familiar
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Shabbos Hagadol
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information

Copyright 2000 by Rabbi Boruch Clinton and Project Genesis, Inc.

 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND PESACH:

View Complete List

The Great Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5764

After Death - Life!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Holy Kitchen, Holy Sidewalk, Holy Workplace
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

> Orlah - No Shortcuts?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Reliving the Exodus
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

A Holy Mindset
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

ArtScroll

In Hillel's Footsteps
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Self-Love: Is it Self-ish?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

In Pursuit Of Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Ha Lachma Anya
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

The Third Rail
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Pesach: The Obligation of Profound Appreciation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Shabbos Hagadol
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Do it Because I am Holy
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Don't Take it to Heart
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Beyond Common (In)Cense
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information