On this week’s Shabbat YITRO, the Ten Commandments (Aseret HaDibrot) are being read in the Synagogues. In addition to that YITRO contains three Mitzvah obligations and fourteen Mitzvah prohibitions. An extremely important Mitzvah is the obligation to believe in the existence of G – d. Sefer HaChinuch – The Book of Mitzvot lists this Mitzvah as no. 25.
I am Hashem, your G – d, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery (Exodus / Shemot 20:2).
We are commanded to believe in ONE G – d who brought about all existence. And that G – d took the Jews out of Egypt.
Believing here means that there is ONE G – d who created everything, who exists eternally and who continues to control everything. There is absolutely no one besides Him. No son, no mother or father and no other family member !
The Mitzvah, however, doesn’t mean that one has to be frum. What someone has to do is admitting that there is ONE G – d, the Creator of all existence and it is only Him running the world.
This Mitzvah applies in every location and in all times; to men and women alike.
Another Mitzvah given in this week’s Parasha is listed as no. 26 in Sefer HaMitzvot:
You shall not have other gods before Me (Exodus / Shemot 20:3).
We are commanded not to believe in any other deity but G – d alone. Believing that there is ONE G – d, the Creator of all Creation and that there is no other god besides Hashem is the basic principle of Judaism.
If you take a look at Christianity, there is a Trinity which is, according to Jewish understanding nothing else but idol – worship. As I said: There is only G – d alone and He doesn’t split Himself into various people nor does He come down to earth as a human. Whoever makes such a claim doesn’t understand the Jewish principle of the eternal and perfect G – d.
The prohibition to believe in any other deity besides G – d alone applies to men and women alike. In every location of the planet and in all times. Even the Noachides (Bnei Noach) are commanded to only believe in ONE G – d and not to follow other deities. However, a non – Jew cannot call himself a Noachide while still believing in the false Meshiach J. In this case, the Gentile would still be an idol – worshiper but not an honest Noachide.
Mitzvah no. 27 in Sefer HaChinuch is the prohibition of making an idol.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the water beneath the earth (Exodus / Shemot 20:4).
We are commanded not to make statues or idols of any type for the purpose of worship. A prohibition not to attribute godly powers to any entity other than the ONE G – d. Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon / Maimonides, 1135 – 1204) brings all kinds of detailed laws on this prohibition in his Mishna Torah / Hilchot Avodah Zarah.
This Mitzvah also applies to men and women, in every location and in all times. The prohibition does include angels as well. Jews are not allowed to make any statues or pictures showing an angel.