In this series, I am visiting the Thirteen Principles of The Jewish Faith By Maimonides. This is how I am approaching the question asked of me by friends and family – am I Jewish?
There are a few different ways to look at this question. Frankly, I think it is unfortunate that many Christians are so conditioned to build a wall of separation between what we call Jew and Gentile. One can look at blood, one can look at practice (they vary), or one can address the belief system. That’s where we are in this discussion. I am touching on the Thirteen Principles of The Jewish Faith by Maimonides. From there, I ask my brothers and sisters to ask themselves, by these standards, would I consider myself Jewish?
Principle number two is: God is entirely unique and one.
“I believe with complete faith that the Creator… is unique and there is no likeness to Him in any way, and that He alone is our God. who was, and is, and is to come.” – Maimonides
I think of the song that we sing in church and in the car:
“There is none like you. No one else can touch my heart like you do.”
“There is none like you, Yahweh; you are great, and your name is great in might.” – Jeremiah 10:6
Even though the adversary (and all of the enemies of Elohim’s children) know this, He tries to imitate.
“Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves judge this.” Deut. 32:31
So, as a believer in Yeshua/Jesus, I can agree with this. However, if I depended on Maimonides’ definition of one, I might get kicked out of his club. The English word that we translate as one is sometimes “Yachid” in Hebrew. However, in the Shema, recited weekly by many Jews, and daily by some, the word for “one” is “echad.” This can imply a compound unity.
“And I have given them the glory that you have given me, so that they shall be one, just as we are one, so that the world shall believe that you have sent me. “ – John 17:22
So many Rabbis cling to this idea, perhaps in reaction to the idea that Yeshua can be from God as well as BE God.
So, I can score this one as a follower of Yeshua/Jesus as I do believe that He is unique and there is none like Him. I can agree with the biblical word of echad to understand that Yeshua is Emanuel – God with us. I would have to include the side note that Maimonides might not give me the entire point. He might take a half point off. But then again, he’s not around, so I put a “2” on the scoreboard.
How are you scoring so far? Are you Jewish with 2 out of 13 points as well?
Below this video you can find the past articles in this series if you wish to catch up. Please share if you like taking this journey with me.