Fundamental Judaism

(from Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, Benjamin Blech, London: Jason Aronsom, inc., 1992)

Thirteen Fundamental Principles of Belief
1. ...that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is the Author and Guide of everything that has been created and that He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
2....that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is a Unity, and that there is no Unity in any manner like unto His, and that He alone is our God who was, is, and will be.
3. ...that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is not a body and that He is free from all the properties of matter, and that He has not any form whatsoever.
4. ...that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is the First and the Last.
5. ...that unto Him alone, it is right to pray, and that it is not right to pray to any being besides Him.
6. ...that all the words of the Prophets are true.
*7. ...that the prophecy of Moses, our teacher, peace be unto him, was true, and that he was the chief of the
P rophets, both those who preceded him and those who followed him.
8. ...that the whole Torah now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses, our teacher, peace be unto him.
*9. ...that this Torah will not be exchanged, and that there will never be any other law from the Creator, blessed be His name for ever and ever.
10. ...that theCreator, blessed be His Name, knows every deed of the children of men, and all their thoughts, as it is said, "It is He that fashioneth the hearts of them all that give heed to all their works. "
11. ...that the Creator, blessed be His Name, rewards those that keep His commandments, and punishes t hose that trangress them.
*12. the coming of the Messiah, and though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming.
13. ...that there will be a revival of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator, blessed be His Name and exalted be His Name forever and ever.

Ten Basic Categories or Principles

(Core of 613 Mitzvot)

1. I am the Lord your God.
6. You shall not murder.
2. You shall not have other gods before me. 7. You shall not commit adultery.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 8. You shall not steal.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. 9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
5. Honor your father and mother. 10. You shall not covet

Three Pillars of Human Existence

Jacob (study)--Head Repentance Individual
Sacrifice (offering) Issac (except for grace)--Soul Prayer God
Acts of Kindness Abraham (hospitality)--Heart Charity People

Three Moments When One Should Be Willing to Die Involving Three Cardinal Sins

Sexual imorality Example: in situation of hostility, to be commanded to have sexual relations with a family member for pleasure of observors. Halakhic answer: "better to be killed than violate."
Shedding of blood Abel's bloods (plural in Hebrew, so bloods shed, not blood shed) cry out. All of Abel's potential descendents have also been killed. Commanded to murder someone or be killed, Jewish response is "Better to be victim than villain."
Idolatry Worship idol and be spared (many times in history: Hanah's seven sons all murdered by Antiochus for refusing to bow down to the idol. "Better to die than live separated from God."