Thirteen Principles of Faith | G-d’s Unparalleled Unity | Part Three





“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” (Deut. 6:4). Maimonides Introduction to Perek Helek 18 The Third Fundamental principle: We are to believe that he is incorporeal, that His unity is physical neither potentially nor actually. None of the attributes of matter can be predicated of Him, neither motion nor rest for example. They cannot refer to Him accidentally or essentially. That is why our sages denied Him composition and separation, and said : “On high there is neither sitting nor standing, neither want nor weariness” (Hagigah 15a), i.e., neither composition nor separation, and said: “On High there is neither sitting nor standing, neither want nor weariness” (Hagigah 15a), i.e., neither composition nor separation, as the Biblical usage of these words attests. The Prophet asked: “To whom can you compare God, whom might he resemble?” (Is. 40:18). If He were a body, He would be like other bodies. Whenever Scripture describes Him in corporeal terms like walking, standing, sitting, speaking, and the like, it speaks metaphorically. Thus our Sages said: “The Torah speaks in human language” (Berakhot 31b). This third fundamental principle is taught in the Biblical verse: “You have seen no image” (Deut. 4:15). This verse means to say, one cannot conceive of Him as one would a Baal image, since, as we have shown, He has nobody at all, actually or potentially.

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