לרפואת אתי רוחמה בת פולט בתוך שח"י
What is unique about the 13 Principles of Faith? We have to believe in a lot more than 13 ideas! [In fact, some authorities took the Rambam to task for limiting it to 13]. The explanation is that these beliefs are the foundations and basis [עיקרים] for EVERYTHING! Without these beliefs - Yiddishkeit loses its foundation chas vi-shalom. Other beliefs are important but Yiddishkeit can survive without them. It is like the different between a person who has a heart condition and a bone spur. One can live without that bone. No functioning heart - no life. The י"ג עיקרים are the HEART AND SOUL of our faith.
So we have to look at each Principle and understand why it is so fundamental. Let us examine number 12. That we believe Moshiach will come. That's GREAATT!! But why is it an עיקר. We can't be Jewish without it? Why not? A Yid sits and learns 3 sedarim a day. Never misses a minyan. Gives 20 percent of his meager earnings to tzedaka. He even says the tikkun klali of Rebbe Nachman daily. Everything is gut and geshmak. He just doesn't believe that Moshiach will redeem us. Why does he lack a BASIC tenet of faith.
It must be noted that the belief in the coming of Moshiach is not even explicit in the Chumash. It is only alluded to [דרך כוכב מיעקב וכו] by Bilaam of all people!! If it is such an ikker, shouldn't it be more prominent??
Also - should יציאת מצרים be on the list?? Look at how much of our faith rides on Yetzias Mitzraim to the extent that when Hashem "introduces" Himself and the fact of His existence, He says אנכי השם אלקיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים and not that he created the world [which IS one of the ikkarim].