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    The Divine image – B’reshit

    A major problem with the early part of B’reshit is the verse, “God made man in His image: in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27).

    The superficial implication is that man is a photograph of God – or conversely God is a photograph of man.

    It is an impossible interpretation since, by definition, the Almighty has no physical form and never could have. God’s incorporeality is fundamental to Maimonides’ 13 Principles and to every version of the beliefs of Judaism.

    Every Jewish philosopher has worked on this problem. They all agree that the verse is talking about Godlike attributes being implanted into man. As God is intellectual, articulate, spiritual and moral, so is man. Or rather, man has the potential to develop these characteristics.

    He will never reach the level of perfection which is reserved to and by God, but he can raise himself, as the Psalmist tells us (Psalm 8), to be “little lower than Divine”.

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