Core Beliefs of Judaism

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Dear Rabbi Simon
As head of the Jewish affinity group at a major national charity, I will be asked at a forum, “What are the Core Beliefs of Judaism?” I plan to give the answer below.  What do you think?
Thanks and regards,
Alex
[The answer which appears below reflects Rabbi Simon’s editing of Alex’s proposed response.]

Dear Alex
Nice idea. I would amend as follows:
Judaism is a religion of deed more than creed. The essential covenantal text of Judaism, the Torah (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament, but more correctly the Hebrew Scriptures or more specifically the Pentateuch) is a book of revelation but more so of law, setting out a total of 613 commandments. Collectively, as elaborated by the Oral Torah, these govern all aspects of human behaviour (including belief). In the 12th c. Moses Maimonides formulated 13 Principles of Faith, which over time have become widely accepted. Among the most important, in my view, are that G-d is One, and created the Universe. We believe that the Torah is from G-d and that no prophet will ever supersede Moses. Also that G-d cares about what we do. G-d rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked (whether in this world or the next). 
A recommended Jewish primer is Gateway to Judaism by Mordechai Becher.
Good luck with the forum!
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
***
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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