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Melacha #1 – Choreish (Plowing)
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The first 11 melachos are called “sidura d’pas,” “the order of (making) bread” and they are agricultural in nature (see Talmud Shabbos 74 and Rashi there). There were two reasons for agricultural activity. The first was to grow plants needed to produce necessary dyes; the second was to make the lechem hapanim (“show bread”) for […]
The Thirteenth Foundation: The Dead will be Revived
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The final foundation of the Jewish faith is our confidence in God’s promise to revive the dead at some future time. The source of this belief is more elusive than most of the other foundations, lacking the same quantity of overt textual support from Tanach. That’s not to say that it can’t be found, though. […]
The Twelfth Foundation: Moshiach is Coming
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The twelfth foundation of the Jewish faith may be the best-known, having been captured in song in a wide array of melodies. It is the principle that there is a Moshiach (Messiah) on the way, promised by God to redeem us from our exile. The Moshiach will be a righteous king of the Davidic dynasty, […]
The Eleventh Foundation: God Rewards and Punishes
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The eleventh foundation of the Jewish faith is that God repays people according to their deeds, rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked. The ultimate reward is in the form of Olam Haba, the “World to Come,” which is inherited by those who perform His will but denied those who spurn Him. We see this […]
The Tenth Foundation: God is Omniscient
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The tenth foundation of the Jewish faith is that God knows everything that goes on in the world. It’s not like some people think, that God created the world then went away, leaving mankind to their own devices (see Ezekiel 9:9). Rather, God is intimately involved and well aware of all the deeds of man. […]
The Ninth Foundation: The Torah Doesn’t Change
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The ninth foundation of the Jewish faith is that the Torah is timeless and not subject to revision by human hands. The Torah was given to us by God, Who is omniscient. Since He knows all that ever is, was, or will be, it is inconceivable that the Torah wouldn’t account for the circumstances of […]
The Sixth Foundation: The Words of the Prophets are True
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The sixth foundation of the Jewish faith is that God communicated with us through His chosen prophets. The prophets were humans – they were not supernatural in any way – but they achieved a high level of spiritual perfection so that they were able to receive special insights directly from God. (We see in Tanach […]