Jews believe in Gods total omnipresence over the universe, this is to be present everywhere simultaneously. This is evident in Point 3 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides, as it clearly refers to Gods divine presence, called Shekhina. Yom Kippur can also be used as an example of Gods omnipresence as well as his total knowledge, as God would have to be everywhere to see a persons good or bad deeds so that he could weigh them up and judge that person in the book of life.
Personal and Impersonal are two conflicting ideas on jewish beliefs of the qualities of God, as obviously they contradict each other, as one might believe a person can not be personal and impersonal at the same time. However, Jews believe that God is so powerful and divine that he can have these two conflicting characteristics. In the 13 Principles of Maimonides, there are many points that show Gods ablity to have personal relationships with human being. This is most blatant in points 6, 8 and 9, where it is obvious to Jews that God is capable of having relations with humans, as he has communicated through the prophets, given the Torah, the holiest book of Judaism, and he also punishes evil and rewards good of single human beings. Jews also see Gods personal side in Daniel 6, where he helps a single man, Daniel, escape from the clutches of near death. However, there are examples where Jews can see that God is incapable of having human relationships as he is higher than humans, and is therefore impersonal. This is most obvious in Genesis 6 when God destroyed all living beings on the hearth – humans, animals and birds, obviously not something a God with a personal relationship with all humans would do. These two conflicting ideas are widely discussed in Judaism, however many Jews still believe that God is capable of being personal and impersonal towards human beings.
In addition, Jews believe that God is transcendent, which is to be above or superior to the natural universe, and to be supernatural or mystical. There is evidence for this quality in Isaiah 6, when God sent flaming creatures each of which had 6 wings, obviously not the work of a mortal human being. In point 13 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides, there is also an example of God being supernatural as I explains God will resurrect the dead, another power that no human being has, showing Jews that god must be transcendent.
As in nearly all religions, Jews believe that God is holy, which is to be separate from humans, a divine power that no person or being can overpass. In the Torah there are endless example of Gods holiness, however a clear example is in Isaiah 6, shown in the quote “Holy, holy, holy! The Lord Almighty is holy!” Points 4 and 9 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides particularly show Jews belief that God is holy. Jews believe God is eternal, and that the Torah, the words of God, is sacred. This obviously shows us how Jews believe God is holy as he would have to be to be eternal and have his words so highly respected that they are sacred to Jews.
Jews also believe that God is the creator i.e. the creator of the universe. This is believed as in Genesis 1, the story of creation, a story is told of how God created the world in seven days. This story is also outlined in Point 1 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides, which explains how nothing in nature can exist without God’s continuing activity within it.
Jews believe in monotheism, the belief that there is only one God, and in Judaism, the one God is Hashem. This is the clearest in Shema, the most important Jewish prayer form the Torah, which reminds us how important monotheism is to Jews. In the Shema, God demands that all Jews worship him and only him as their one God. This is reflected in Point 2 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides, where God’s oneness is outlines, with a quote from the Shema itself.
Additionally Jews believe that God is immanent, which is to be in the world or universe i.e. God can act in human affairs. This is most clearly shown in Daniel 6, where God becomes involved in mans affairs when God protected Daniel from the lions den when he knew that he was innocent after being arrested. Jews also argue that God is immanent because of his involvement in mans affairs in the writing of the 10 commandments, as he is determining how people live their lives, therefore being involved in the business of humans.
As well as the main examples of Jews beliefs about Gods qualities as shown above, there are also other characteristics that Jews believe Hashem have. The first of these is demanding, which is mainly clear to be a characteristic of God in the Shema and in the Ten Commandments, as God makes some very heavy demands on how Jewish people live their lives. In point 5 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides as it states another demand that God makes which is outlined by the phrase “Only God must be worshipped” The second of these qualities is that God is eternal, and this is most clearly stated in principal 4 of the 13 Principles of Maimonides.
Based on all the ideas discussed in my essay I believe that the main qualities of God that Jews believe Hashem are, are omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, personal, impersonal, transcendent, holy, creator, monotheistic, immanent and also demanding and eternal. These qualities have been decided by Jews due to passages from the Torah and the Ten Commandments, which led to the writing of the 13 Principles of Maimonides.