What are the basic beliefs in Judaism?

Question One

Famously, Moses Maimonides listed 13 principles of Jewish faith, but the Tashbatz, (Rabbi Shimon ben Tzemach Duran), came and reduced them to three.

If you look very carefully at the siddur and many other aspects of Judaism, you will see those three are the key “boxes” of Jewish faith into which Maimonides’ 13 principles can fit. They are Creation, Revelation, and Redemption.

Belief in the universe as God’s work, the Torah as God’s word, that’s creation and revelation. Now, when we apply revelation to creation, the result is redemption, because Jewish history began with God redeeming the Jewish people from slavery to freedom.

The challenge ever since that God has given us is to create a free society of justice and compassion that respects the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human individual. So Creation, Revelation, and Redemption are the three principles into which all the other more detailed principles fit.

In partnership with TorahCafe (www.torahcafe.com), Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks recorded a series of short videos in May 2013, in answer to some of the most often asked questions of Judaism (and faith in general).