the 12 principles? -בא ה"אדרבי" והעמידן על שנים עשר

As a result of a recent speaking engagement, I tried to formulate for myself the basic assumptions/beliefs of Halakhic Judaism. I tried being broad (and almost necessarily vague). The result was interesting – it became an alternative list of ‘ikkarei emunah’. I expect a Marc Shapiro – type fisking.

  • God created the world purposefully
  • Man’s role is central to God’s purpose for the world
  • Man can know God’s Will and emulate His attributes
  • God communicates His Will to man
  • Man can choose between good and evil
  • Man bears the consequences of his actions
  • The world is perfectible
  • God selected the Nation of Israel to be the catalyst for the achievement of His purposes
  • God and the Nation of Israel entered into a bilateral covenant from which He will never renege.
  • God communicated his expectations of Israel under this covenant through Moses; the Torah is the record of those communications.
  • God authorized acceptable members of the Nation of Israel to interpret and apply the Torah to every reality encountered according to their understanding; this application is called ‘Halakha’.
  • God selected the Land of Israel to be the stage where the Nation of Israel, in accordance with their Torah, carries out their mission.

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