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Portals of Faith
Portals of Faith
An essential, in-depth guide to The Thirteen Principles of Faith, based on rabbinical sources from the Rishonim down to the present day.
By Rabbi Danon Danin
Feldheim Publishers, Jerusalem & New York: 2002
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - February 23, 2004
Portals of Faith, is, as the subtitle indicates, An essential, in-depth guide to The Thirteen Principles of Faith, based on rabbinical sources from the Rishonim down to the present day. Written by Rabbi D. Danin, this is a significant work that clearly delineates the basic principles upon which the Jewish faith is built upon.
This sefer is both educational and inspirational. It can serve as an introduction, for a Ba'al Teshuvah, to the foundations of faith upon which the Torah is constructed, and as a guide to Rambam's Thirteen Principles of Faith. For those already familiar with these concepts, this masterful work will help to increase your faith, and enable you to study in-depth these important component of Jewish spiritual life.
The sefer is divided into two sections. The bulk of the book is devoted to topics related to how our faith is manifested. A sampling of chapter headings include:
There are eighteen chapters in this first section. Each deals with one component of our faith, with extensive explanations of each point drawn from rabbinical sources dating form the times of the Rishonim to modern day Torah scholars such as Rav Chaim Friedlander and Rav Yissachar Meyer. Also included in this first section is four supplemental essays:
- Belief in the Existence and Unity of G-d
- Individual Providence
- The Prophesy of Moshe
- The Divinity of the Torah
- The Choice of Israel as G-d's People
The second part of this sefer provides an overview of Rambam's Thirteen Principles of Faith, along with the text, and commentaries on, The Thirteen Principles.
- Faith, Acknowledging a Supreme Being
- Faith, Its Place in the Heart
- "Mazal" (Fate)
- The King, Mashiach
This sefer concludes with a list of luminaries that were referred to within the pages of this text, a brief glossary of terms, and the text is well indexed. In addition, this English edition of Sha'arey Emunah (Portals of Faith) has been expertly translated from the Hebrew by Ravi Shachar.
Portals of Faith is an invaluable sefer that explains the Thirteen Principles of Faith, and how they apply to one's everyday life. This text also delineates the importance of keeping all the mitzvot, the mind set that one should have in regard to performing the mitzvot in order to gain the highest 'reward', and the importance of striving to elevates your level faith. It also explores the steps that should be taken, which can result in the attainment of a higher level of faith - which by extension will bring you closer to G-d.
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