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The Basics

1 and 2: Belief in Hashem and Understanding Hashem’s Oneness

I am Hashem, your God, who removed you from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves. (Shemos 20:2)

Hear, O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One. (Devarim 6:4)

The first two mitzvos go hand in hand:

1. To believe that God created and controls the universe. This is the most basic and fundamental of all teachings, the essence of all reality.

2. To understand that Hashem is the Absolute One, the Ultimate One, the Only One, and the Unique One. Hashem has no physical dimensions. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all. He is the only Creator; all else are His creations.

The Rambam explains: “The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of all wisdom is to know that there is a Creator who created the universe with profound wisdom…” (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 1:1).

The Rambam continues by spelling out the basics of this fundamental idea:

1. Everything is from Hashem.
2. There is nothing else.
3. Hashem is completely independent.
4. He is the Absolute Truth.
5. He is the Master of All.
6. Everything depends on the awareness of Hashem.
7. His Oneness is most unique. He is unlimited and has no physical limitations. His power is forever.
8. He is everywhere.
9. We use human terms in describing Him and His actions only because we are limited in understanding Hashem.


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.


 


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