Others, like Crescas and David ben Samuel Estella, spoke of seven fundamental articles, laying stress on free-will. On the other hand, David ben Yom-Tob ibn Bilia, in his "Yesodot ha- Maskil" (Fundamentals of the Thinking Man), adds to the 13 of Maimonides 13 of his own — a number which a contemporary of Albo also chose for his fundamentals; while Jedaiah Penini, in the last chapter of his "Behinat ha-Dat", enumerated no fewer than 35 cardinal principles.



Jedaiah of Bedersi, AFAIK, did not author a book titled “Behinat ha-Dat”. One of his books with a similar name is his famous Behinat Olam.* Furthermore, at the end of the aforementioned book he affirms Maimonides thirteen principles except, as one publisher notes, he recasts then and rearranges its collocation (Behinat Olam, ch. 17, here or ch. 18 in this edition; publisher’s notes and explanation to the former 118ff.). A fairly relevant note is that Jedaiah was actuallly a staunch advocate of Maimonides’ philosophy and of the latter’s general support of scientific studies which motivated his petition to R. Solomon ibn Adret in having the ban on Maimonides books rescinded; this is expressed in Jedaiah’a Iggeret Hitnazlut (Apologetically Letter).

(Since the linked-to Wikipedia page does not provide a source to contend with I took the liberty to submit a divergent proposition. If the community here accepts and further confirms this answer correcting the Wikipedia page would be in order.)

*Another similar title of his is Ketav HaDa’at (Treatise on the Intellect), though I don’t think it was ever published from manuscript.

  • 1
    Where did you see the treatise on the intellect mentioned, then? Thanks. – Dr. Shmuel Jul 19 '19 at 5:40
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    @Dr.Shmuel Benjacob’s Otzar here n. 328. Rabbi Joseph Chotzner, in an issue of JQR, also wrote about it. – Oliver Jul 19 '19 at 6:11
  • It does not seem that he merely rearranges Maimonides' principles. For example, where in Maimonides' principles does it mention שיש במציאות מלאכי עליון גבוה מעל גבוה וקדושים המה מראשית דרכם ודבר אין להם עם ענן וערפל, etc.? – wfb Jul 30 '19 at 21:45
  • Also, ושהיצירה האנושית מבחר כל המשתנים בעצמם אבל בל נצחי באישו יותר נכבד ממנו. This is not Maimonides' principles. Also, the note at the end of the edition you refer to notes these divergences with Maimonides. – wfb Jul 30 '19 at 21:48
  • @wfb Indeed, he doesn’t merely rearrange them which is why I wrote “he recasts them and rearranges...” ‘Recasting’ includes taking beliefs Rambam admitted but didn’t delineate. – Oliver Jul 31 '19 at 2:12

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