The 13 Principles of Faith of the Rambam

Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith

Maimonides, Moshe ben Maimon, also known as the Rambam, was one of the medieval Talmudic commentators, one of the “Reshonim”. His codes of Jewish law and the Mitzvos, the commandments, is used and studied until this day.

In his commentary on the Mishna, which is part of the Talmud, the Rambam writes in one place what the 13 principles that a Jew has to believe in, or else. Or else he is an Apikorus, a heretic, and loses his portion in the eternal afterlife. These are the fundamentals of Jewish Belief.

For a video presentation of these 13 principles, please click here.

These thirteen principles were summarized by someone, I don’t know who, I would like to know, if you can enlighten me please leave a comment. Maybe anyone who needs them summarized does it himself from the Rambam inside. But certainly there is a standard version today which is printed in all respectable prayer books, and is recited by many daily.

I will briefly quote the Rambam’s 13 priciples, explaining them in the words of the Rambam himself. I preface that I do not intend to quote the Rambam verbatim, as the language is difficult (even with the rendering of Kapach) and what we have nowadays in Hebrew is itself a translation from the original Arabic, if I am not mistaken, so into English is already defused of the real value of exactness. I will try to write it in the spirit of what the Rambam writes in his commentary on the Mishna, the way that I understood it. I have yet to decide whether to expound on the principles or not.

There are the 13 principles:

1) The Existence of G-d

2) The Unity of G-d

3) G-d has no body or physicality

4) G-d is the first that was. His eternity.

5) Only G-d should be worshiped

6) Prophecy

About The Author

Boruch Rappaport