Principals of Faith
The Seven Principals of Faith for Bnei Noach
Principal of Faith
Faith in the Existence of G-d the Creator
Faith in the Oneness of G-d.
We should worship only G-d.
The Truth of Prophecy.
The Eternal truth of the Torah.
Establish courts of law
The belief in G-d’s reward and punishment.
Eating a limb from a living animal
The ultimately good destiny of creation.
The 13 Principles of the Jewish (& Noachide) FaithAccording to HaRav Moshe Ben Maimon (AKA: the Rambam or Rabbi Moses Maimonides, See: www.Chabad.org/Maimonides) The RAMBAM, in his commentary on the Mishnah (Sanhedrin, chap. 10), refers to these ‘Shloshah-Asar Ikkarim’ or thirteen principles of faith as “the fundamental truths of our religion and its very foundations.”
שלשה עשר עקרים של אמונת היהודי
From the Singer Siddur:
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the Creator and Guide of everything that has been created, and that He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is One, and that there is no oneness like His in any way; and that He alone is our G-d, who was, is, and ever will be.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is not a physical body, and no physical phenomena can apply to Him, and that He has no form whatsoever.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the first and is the last.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the only one to whom it is proper to pray, and that it is not proper to pray to anyone else.
- I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true.
- I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace be to him, was true, and that he was the father of all the prophets, both of those who preceded him and of those who followed him.
- I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah which we now possess is the same that was given to Moses our teacher, peace be to him.
- I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, nor will there be any other Torah from the Creator, blessed be His name.
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows all the actions and thoughts of human beings, as it is said, It is He who fashions the hearts of them all, who discerns all their actions. (Psalms 33:15)
- I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress His commandments.
- I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and, though he tarry, I wait daily for his coming.
- I believe with perfect faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead at the time when it will please the Creator, blessed be His name and exalted be His mention for ever and ever.
The Rambam’s 13 Principals of Faith
הרי אני מאמין באמונה שלמה בשלוש־עשרה עיקרים של התורה הקדושה
Belief in the existence of a Creator and of providence
א ־ שהקדוש ברוך הוא מצוי ומשגיח
Belief in His unity
ב ־ והוא אחד
Belief in His incorporeality
ג ־ ואין לו גוף ודמות הגוף
Belief in His eternity
ד ־ ושהוא קדמון קדומים
Belief that worship is due to Him alone
ה ־ ואין עבודה לזולתו
Belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy
ו ־ ויודע מחשבות בני אדם
Belief that Moses was the greatest of all the prophets
ז ־ ונבואת משה רבינו ע״ה אמת
Belief in the revelation of the Torah to Moses at Sinai
ח ־ ושהוא אדון לכל הנביאים
Belief in the unchangeable nature of the revealed Law
ט ־ ושהתורה נתונה מהשמיים
Belief that G-d is omniscient
י ־ ושלא תשתנה בשום זמן חו״ש
Belief in divine reward & retribution in this world and in the hereafter
יא ־ ושהקדוש ברוך הוא מעניש לרשעים ומשלם שכר לצדיקים
Belief in the coming of the Messiah
יב ־ ושיבוא מלך המשיח ב. ב. יא
Belief in the resurrection of the dead
יג ־ ושהמתים עתידים להחיות
Articles of Faith (other sources)
Philo of Alexandria (20-50 BCE)
The first to make the attempt to formulate the Articles of Faith was Philo of Alexandria. Philo enumerates five articles as embracing the chief tenets of Mosaism:
Rabbi Saadia Ben Joseph Gaon (882-942ce)
Rabbi Saadia Ben Joseph Gaon’s “Emunot we-Deot” is in reality one long exposition of the main tenets of the faith. The plan of the book discloses a systematization of the different religious doctrines that, in the estimation of the author, constitute the sum total of his faith. They are, in the order of their treatment by him, the following:
Rabbi Hasdai Ben Avraham Crescas (1340-1410ce)
Crescas proposed an alternative system in his book ‘Or Adonai’. According to Crescas, the central belief of Judaism – that God exists, is One and incorporeal – is in a separate category from other beliefs. In addition to this fundamental principle of Judaism there are three categories of beliefs, namely:
1. Fundamentals without which the Jewish religion is unimaginable:
2. True opinions independent of precept and belief:
3. True opinions dependent on precept and belief:
In Crescas’ view, anyone who denies any of the fundamental beliefs or any of the true opinions is an unbeliever, yet the only difference between these two categories is that the Jewish faith is inconceivable without the fundamental beliefs whereas it is imaginable with the true opinions. These two categories are further supplemented by probabilities; these are opinions which are based on Jewish teaching which Crescas deduces as being valid. Yet, because these conclusions are neither obvious nor simple, they are not mandatory for Jewish believers. Many of these probabilities are expressed as questions:
Rabbi Joseph Albo reduces the articles to three fundamental principles:
Albo concludes his discussion of the principles of Judaism [in his book ‘The book of Principles (Sefer ha-Ikkarim)’] by contending that there are eight derivative principles which branch out from the three major principles of the faith. Together with the belief in the existence of God, divine revelation, and reward and punishment, these derivative beliefs constitute the indispensable elements of the divine law.
Four of these derivative principles pertain to the existence of God:
Three other derivative principles are related to revelation:
Finally, the eighth derivative principle is concerned with the notion of reward and punishment:
In addition to these central beliefs (the three essential, and the eight derivative, principles), Albo states that there are six dogmas which everyone who professes the law of Moses is obliged to accept – anyone who denies them is a heretic who has no share in the world to come. However, they are not referred to as principles of the faith since, in Albo’s opinion, the only beliefs entitled to be designated as fundamental principles are those without which the Jewish faith is inconceivable. These six further beliefs, or dogmas, are:
Rabbi Joseph Ben Hayyim Jabez
Rabbi Joseph Ben Hayyim Jabez was an opponent of philosophy. For him the truth of the Jewish religion is demonstrated by the miracles recorded in the Bible. He criticizes the thirteen articles of faith of Maimonides, the six of Rabbi Hasdai Crescas, and the three of Rabbi Joseph Albo. According to him, only the following three, alluded to in the verse “I am that I am” (Ex. 3:14), are the fundamental principles of Judaism: