The Rambam's first Principle of Faith is that Hashem is the Cause of all other existence and His existence is independent of all other existence. To me it seems the best source for this would have either been בראשית ברא אל-הים (Bereishis 1:1) or אין עוד מלבדו (Devarim 4:35)(which the Rambam cites at one point in the corresponding section of Yesodei HaTorah, 1:2). However, as his source-text for the Principle, he quotes אנכי ה' אלה-ך. Why does the Rambam quote this source?

(I have seen R' Shilat's suggestions to answer this question, and none of them are satisfying to me. The Rambam's Ikkarim are not mitzvos, and so quoting the source of the mitzvah of knowing Hashem exists does not seem relevant. I had issues with the other answers as well. I am looking for another suggestion to answer.)

I understand the Ikkarim like R' Weinberg did, as explained here, and would like an answer which fits with that model. However, an answer which assumes a different model is also acceptable.


It would seem that he agrees with the Ramban's explanation of the verse. אנכי ה - I am the First Cause that made everything - אלקיך - who is your ruler that you are obligated to serve.

He goes on to say that "Who took you out" negates the Kadmus HaOlam, as it shows that He can change nature.

  • +1 but is it better than Bereishis 1:1? Sep 30 '14 at 4:07
  • @YEZ, in the Ramban's understanding of it, yes, it is more spot-on. If you read the Ramban, I think he hits every major point of the Ikkar and puts it in that verse. Bereishis says something about the world, but doesn't address the nature of G-d.
    – Yishai
    Sep 30 '14 at 5:26

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