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Theism (Jewish)

Subject Religion » Judaism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxii ] The belief in one God who has created heaven and earth is at the very centre of faith in J udaism ( see G od (in hebrew and christian scriptures) ). The unity of God, and the need for humans to relate to him in love, are expressed in the first verses of the S hema , the central affirmation of Jewish belief repeated twice daily in the liturgy: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might’ ( Deuteronomy 6: 4–5). M aimonides , the great medieval theologian, states in his formulation of the essential principles of Judaism [31: ii–vi ; 64: 93] that the Jew must believe in the existence of one unique, perfect, incorporeal God who has created and sustains all that is, who is pre-existent, cannot be compared to any created being, and on whom all creatures are dependent. The Jewish mystics ( see K abbalah ), while accepting the basic unity of God, were unhappy about the philosophical and somewhat abstract slant of Maimonides’ formulation. They developed a T heosophical system in which different aspects of the divine activity are personified and related to human experience, the world itself having emanated from God. [14 vol. 7: 641; 52] ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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