In his commentary on the Mishnah (tractate Sanhedrin, chapter 10), Maimonides formulates his “13 principles of faith”. They summarized what he viewed as the required beliefs of Judaism
Resite> I believe with perfect faith> for each
- The existence of God.
- God’s unity and indivisibility into elements.
- God’s spirituality and incorporeality.
- God’s eternity.
- God alone should be the object of worship.
- Revelation through God’s prophets.
- The preeminence of Moses among the prophets.
- The Torah that we have today is the one dictated to Moses by God.
- The Torah given by Moses will not be replaced and that nothing may be added or removed from it.
- God’s awareness of human actions.
- Reward of good and punishment of evil.
- The coming of the Jewish Messiah.
- The resurrection of the dead.
Maimonides compiled the principles from various Talmudic sources. These principles were controversial when first proposed, evoking criticism by Rabbi Hasdai Crescas and Rabbi Joseph Albo, and were effectively ignored by much of the Jewish community for the next few centuries. (“Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought,” Menachem Kellner). However, these principles have become widely held; today, Orthodox Judaism holds these beliefs to be obligatory. Two poetic restatements of these principles (Ani Ma’amin and Yigdal) eventually became canonized in the “Siddur” (Jewish prayer book).