The Laws of Belief
Rabbi Yoel Schwartz (Jerusalem Court for Bnei Noah)
(1) It is a commandment (mitzvah) for a human being to believe that there is a creator of the universe, that He is Eternal, the First and Last of everything. He is One, and there is no unity comparable to his or G-d outside Him. His unity cannot be multiplied or divided. He is exclusive in his unity, and there is no other like Him in the universe. There is none other or any other sources that have His power or His capability. All the sources of power and energy in the universe stem and come from Him.
(2) It is a commandment for a human being to study his belief, and to observe the creation to see and to recognize His greatness. It is written in Isaiah chapter 40, “Lift up your eyes and see Who created these.” Similarly he should study history to observe what has happened in time past and present: It is also commanded to observe what has happened in history to see how G-d has been in charge and the One who rules over all events. “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the L-RD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:7-9). “Remember the former things of old; for I am G-d, and there is none else; I am G-d and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10-11). Israel was created by G-d to receive the Torah and give the prophets to a pagan world that had many thousands of gods. Israel’s unique prophetic character is different and separates Israel from all other nations. Israel is the only nation on earth whose entire history was written before it happened. The Jews’ mission against a polytheistic world has had an unbelievable impact against polytheism. Even the atheists say, “There is no G-d.” They do not say, “There are no gods.”
(3) It is appropriate to say aloud what you believe in order to strengthen the conviction in your heart. For example: There is one G-d and His name is One. (Zech. 14:9). There can be no compromise on pronouncing aloud this belief. The Torah concept of G-d does not allow him to have a split personality. It is worthwhile to say different basic concepts of belief toward the one true G-d loudly and clearly, such as the affirmation (Shema Yisrael) “Hear O Israel…” Here are other sentences that are worthwhile repeating at regular intervals, since they are among the basics of belief:
- I believe with a complete belief that the Creator, blessed be His Name, He alone, created and made all the created things. He alone made, is making and will continue to make all things.
- He is One, and there is none other like Him, in no way or manner. He alone is our L-rd in the past, present, and future.
- He does not have body. Nobody can be like Him, and no imagination can detail or describe Him. No picture can depict Him; no image can portray Him. No material can contain His essence. No wood, no stone, no plant, no star nor constellation can be compared to Him.
- G-d is first and last. Of no man can this be said.
- To G-d and G-d alone we should pray (meaning that no use at all of any mediator should be made in a prayer between man and G-d).
- G-d knows all the thoughts and actions of a person. He pays good wages to those who do good while punishing those who do evil. The most significant compensation will be in the next world (after death). There will also be worldwide compensation with the coming of the Messiah. After that, there will be a resurrection of the dead.
- G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people so that they bring merit to all of humanity. This Torah has never changed and will never be changed. Part of this Torah was given to the whole human race. Another part of the Torah was given only to the Israelites. (Every human being can join and be part of Judaism by conversion, but a person is not obligated to do so.) If a person fulfills the commandments of a son or daughter of Noah, then that person will have a part in the world to come.