These are the things that no one has probably thought to tell you about conversion in the Reform movement. You’ll be glad to know them. Believe me.
- In conversion class, when you get to the page with the Thirteen Articles of Maimonides, do not get excited. Do not highlight them and think you have found the answer to what you need to know about Judaism. This is just one opinion of one man at one time in his life. Judaism does not lay things out in a neat list like this. Read more
The most widely spread and popular of all creeds is that of Maimonides, embracing the thirteen articles. Why he chose this particular number has been a subject of much discussion. Some have seen in the number a reference to the thirteen attributes of God. Probably no meaning attaches to the choice of the number. His articles are:
1. The existence of God;
2. His unity;
3. His spirituality;
4. His eternity;
5. God alone the object of worship;
6. Revelation through his prophets;
7. the preeminence of Moses among the Prophets;
8. God’s law given on Mount Sinai;
9. the immutability of the Torah as God’s Law;
10. God’s foreknowledge of men’s actions;
12. the coming of the Messiah;
This creed Maimonides wrote while still a very young man; it forms a part of his Mishnah Commentary, but he never referred to it in his later works (See S/ Adler, “Tenets of Faith and Their Authority in the Talmud,” in his “Kobez ‘al Yad,” p. 92, where Yad haHazakah, Issure Biah, xiv, 2, is referred to as proof that Maimonides in his advanced age regarded as fundamental of the faith only the unity of God and the prohibition of idolatry). It did not meet universal acceptance; but, as its phraseology is succinct, it has passed into the prayerbook, and is therefore familiar to almost all Jews of the Orthodox school.
SOURCE: The Jewish Virtual Library