What are the 13 Principles of Faith?

In what has become one of his most celebrated and well‑known works, Maimonides, in his commentary on the Mishnah, compiled what he refers to as the Thirteen Articles of Faith, compiled from Judaism’s 613 commandments found in the Torah.

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 non-corporeality, 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.

It is the custom of many congregations to recite the Thirteen Articles, in a slightly more poetic form, beginning with the words Ani Maamin‑”I believe‑‑every day after the morning prayers in the synagogue. In his commentary on the Mishnah (Sanhedrin, chap. 10), Maimonides refers to these thirteen principles of faith as “the fundamental truths of our religion and its very foundations.”

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