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    What do Jews believe? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. What do Jews believe?

    Depiction of Maimonides

    Depiction of Maimonides

    A. Most people would give the answer, “The 13 Principles of Maimonides”. However, a number of alternatives have been proposed, and there is scholarly debate about whether Maimonides’ Principles are really the last word in Jewish theology.

    There are authorities who question the whole notion of Jewish articles of belief and suggest that if you live as a Jew, your beliefs are obvious from your actions. Others wonder how we can separate out certain items from the Torah and not others. From the practical point of view, this explains why some siddurim (e.g. Nussach Ari of Chabad and the Jerusalem rite found in Siddur HaG’ra) object to saying or singing Yigdal, a poem based on Maimonides’ list.

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