Moses Maimonides was born in Cordoba, Spain, in 1135 CE. His father Maimon, a direct descendant of King David, was a judge in the city’s rabbinical court. His mother passed away when he was yet a small child, some suggesting that his younger siblings were born after Maimon remarried.
By Benjamin Leon
His work, A Guide for the Perplexed has been translated into many languages and his works are revered by both Christians and Muslims.
The following is a list of the Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith, as penned by Maimonides, along with their biblical sources:
I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the Creator and Guide of all created beings, and that He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
Source: “I am God your God”(Exodus 20:2)
l I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is One and Alone; that there is no oneness in any way like Him; and that He alone is our God—was, is and will be.
Source: “Hear O Israel, God is our God, God is One”(Deuteronomy 6:4)
I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is incorporeal; that He is free from all anthropomorphic properties; and that He has no likeness at all.
Source: “You did not see any image on the day that God spoke to you at Horeb [Sinai].” (Deuteronomy 4:15)
I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the first and the last.
Source: “[The heavens] are the abode for the God who precedes all” (Deuteronomy 33: 27.3)
I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the only one to whom it is proper to pray, and that it is inappropriate to pray to anyone else.
Source: “Lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven . . . and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them” (Deuteronomy 4:19)
I believe with complete faith that all the words of the prophets are true.
Source: “God will raise up a prophet from among you… and you shall hearken to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15)
I believe with complete faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace unto him, was true; and that he was the father of the prophets, both of those who preceded and of those who followed him.
Source: “God would speak to Moses face to face” (Exodus 33:11); “Mouth to mouth, I speak to him” (Numbers 12:8.4)
I believe with complete faith that the whole Torah which we now possess was given to Moses, our teacher, peace unto him.
Source: “With this you shall know that God sent me to do all these deeds, for I did not devise them myself” (Numbers 16:28)
I believe with complete faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will be no other Torah given by the Creator, blessed be His name.
Source: “You shall not add to it, not subtract from it” (Deuteronomy 13:1.5)
I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows all the deeds and thoughts of human beings, as it is said, “It is He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who perceives all their actions.”
Source (in addition to Psalms 33:15 quoted in the actual text): “Who is great in counsel and mighty in carrying it out, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of mankind” (Jeremiah 32:19); “God saw that the evil of man on earth was very great” (Genesis 6:5)
I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, rewards those who observe His commandments, and punishes those who transgress His commandments.
Source: “And God said to Moses: ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, him I will erase from My book!’” (Exodus 32:33.6)
I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait every day for him to come.
Source: “God will restore your fortunes, have mercy on you, and gather you” (Deuteronomy 30:3)
I believe with complete faith that there will be resurrection of the dead at the time when it will be the will of the Creator, blessed be His name and exalted be His remembrance forever and ever.
Source: “Many who sleep in the dust shall awaken, some to everlasting life, and some to ever lasting shame and reproach” (Daniel 12:2)
Benjamin Leon is a member of the Jewish Community in Zimbabwe.
Feedback: vleon@ mango.zw