Article Info

published: 3/17/04
updated: 5/1/13

The Thirteen Articles of Faith

What does Judaism teach and believe?

Many of the "Beliefs" sections on ReligionFacts begin with an official list of essential beliefs agreed upon by all orthodox followers of the faith. But as noted in the introduction, Judaism has no such list.

Moses Maimonides
Rabbi Maimonides and his signature.
Image: Jewish Encyclopedia.

However, the great 12th-century Rabbi Maimonides put together "13 Articles of Faith" that he believed every Jew ought to adhere to. These have been widely accepted as a proper expression of the Jewish faith and they still appear in Jewish prayer books today.

So while it is not necessary to believe all of these articles to be Jewish (and in fact many Jews would likely question one or more of the articles) they serve as a good general summary of religious Judaism.

The 13 Articles of the Jewish Faith proposed by Maimonides are these:

  1. God exists
  2. God is one and unique
  3. God is incorporeal
  4. God is eternal
  5. Prayer is to God only.
  6. The prophets spoke truth.
  7. Moses was the greatest of the prophets.
  8. The Written and Oral Torah were given to Moses.
  9. There will be no other Torah.
  10. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men.
  11. God will reward the good and punish the wicked.
  12. The Messiah will come.
  13. The dead will be resurrected.

These beliefs are discussed at greater length in the articles that follow.

«  Jewish Beliefs
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