SIDEBAR - "Maimonides"

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known as both Maimonides and the acronym RAMBAM, lived in 12th century Spain and is one of the most influential figures in Jewish history. He was a physician, philosopher and chief rabbi. His most important works include: the Commentary on the Mishnah, Book of Commandments, Mishneh Torah (commentary on the Torah), Treatise on Resurrection, and Guide of the Perplexed, a very philosophical work. (Check www.amazon.com for these.) He is also known for his "Thirteen Articles of Faith," which is about as close to a "Jewish statement of faith," that there is.

The Thirteen Articles of Jewish faith are as follows:

  1. Belief in the existence of the Creator, be He Blessed, who is perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.
  2. The belief in God's absolute and unparalleled unity.
  3. The belief in God's noncorporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.
  4. The belief in God's eternity.
  5. The imperative to worship Him exclusively and no foreign false gods.
  6. The belief that God communicates with man through prophecy.
  7. The belief that the prophecy of Moses our teacher has priority.
  8. The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.
  9. The belief in the immutability of the Torah.
  10. The belief in divine omniscience and providence.
  11. The belief in divine reward and retribution.
  12. The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.
  13. The belief in the resurrection of the dead.

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