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    Is man a photo? – B’reshit

    That man is made in God’s image is axiomatic to the Torah (Gen. 1:27, etc.).

    The word “image” (tzelem) does not mean anything physical, since God has no physical shape or characteristics. The “image” is intellectual, moral and spiritual.

    Man is not a photograph of God in any literal sense, but metaphorically has the capacity of aspiring to be God-like.

    As God thinks and plans, man can think and plan. As God is just and truthful, man can be just and truthful. As God is sublime, so man can at least try to be sublime.

    Man will never be God, but he has the ability to raise himself to be, as the Psalmist puts it, “little lower than God” (Psalm 8:6).

    How tragic it is when you see human beings who go down morally, not up, who stifle their inner spiritual spark and ignore the pinprick of conscience, who know deep down that they really could look higher but simply don’t want to.

    (On the other hand, how miraculous it is to find people who let their still small voice be heard and allow themselves to begin the slow but exhilarating upward climb.)

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