1 and 2: Belief in Hashem and Understanding Hashem’s Oneness
I am Hashem, your God, who removed you from the land of Egypt, from the
house of slaves. (Shemos 20:2)
Hear, O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One. (Devarim 6:4)
The first two mitzvos go hand in hand:
1. To believe that God created and controls the universe. This is the most
basic and fundamental of all teachings, the essence of all reality.
2. To understand that Hashem is the Absolute One, the Ultimate One, the
Only One, and the Unique One. Hashem has no physical dimensions. He is the
Creator and Sustainer of all. He is the only Creator; all else are His
The Rambam explains: “The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of
all wisdom is to know that there is a Creator who created the universe
with profound wisdom…” (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 1:1).
The Rambam continues by spelling out the basics of this fundamental idea:
1. Everything is from Hashem.
2. There is nothing else.
3. Hashem is completely independent.
4. He is the Absolute Truth.
5. He is the Master of All.
6. Everything depends on the awareness of Hashem.
7. His Oneness is most unique. He is unlimited and has no physical
limitations. His power is forever.
8. He is everywhere.
9. We use human terms in describing Him and His actions only because we
are limited in understanding Hashem.