The Rambam laid down 13 principles of faith (ikkarim) in his commentary on Sanhedrin 10:
- God exists and created everything,
- God is One,
- God has no body,
- God is eternal,
- God alone should be worshiped,
- God revealed Himself through the prophets,
- Moses was the greatest of prophets,
- The Torah we have today is the very same one God gave us on Mount Sinai,
- The Torah will never change,
- God knows all our actions,
- God rewards good and punishes evil,
- The Messiah will come; and
- The dead will be resurrected.
What surprises me is that there is no mention of the Oral Law. Sure, it is implied in the 13th, but the Rambam could have made it crystal-clear, considering how important that point is, say by changing the 8th to:
- The Torah we have today, both Written and Oral, is the very same one God gave us on Mount Sinai.
Why didn't he do it? Was he deliberately ambiguous? Back in my native Egypt he was surrounded by Karaites who denied the Oral Law, but he fought them tooth and nail, so I doubt he was being ambiguous to win them over.
So what is the answer?