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In the Image or Likeness of HaShem?

Being in His Likeness

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ

"And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness."

The Difference Between Image and Likeness

Man is made in the image of HaShem. Man is capable of thinking, speaking and acting. Man is a lamp and vessel full of possibilities. But as long as man does not actually act, it remains a lamp that does not burn. Only when man proceeds to physical actions, concrete deeds, when he uses the oil - mitsvot - in his lamp does light arise, light of Torah, which shines into the world and illuminates it. Then man is truly in the likeness of HaShem

A Real-Life Example

On the Shabbat of Chanukah, I was sitting in the dining room of the hotel. There They were already many Chanukah candles burning when we entered, it was beautiful and atmospheric. But the real light shone when Jewish families sang Kabalat Shabbat before eating and pronounced the brachot over the food. It created an overall brightening of the room in which Jewish men who were not yet wearing kipah walked forward to borrow one from the hotel and continued their meal.

And so the mitzvot to greet Shabbat led to the lighting up of Jewish souls.May this example be an inspiration for us Noahides to carry out our Mitzvot as best we can in practice so that we too may inspire and motivate the souls around us to recognize and begin to serve HaShem.

First Chanukah then Shabbat

The miracle of Chanukah is victory over a world that wishes to deny Torah, a world that is focused on fulfilling its own needs and desires. It is the full faith that if one keeps looking for oil, one will find oil, that there is always a good deed one can do, to help another in that which he needs, in order to make the world a dwelling place for HaShem. It is miracle that if one searches one finds and that wherever man lets the light of Torah shine HaShem will replenish to increase the light.

Thus it is Chanukah the light that brings the light of Shabbat. The light, the faith in wanting to do Mitzvot, makes one able and willing to perform the Mitzvot.

First there is the image and then comes the likeness. First the wish, and then the performance.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.


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1 Comment

Wow this article post got me thinking a lot! In a good way!

In theory:

"Image" = Havayah (HaShem's "soul" Infinite Light")

"Likeness" = Elokim (HaShem's manifestions through Creation)

Thus, in theory:

Mankind being made in the "image" of HaShem could refer to our souls not our bodies. That our souls are made divinely in His "image" meaning His soul character traits. Intangible aspects of HaShem. Like love, forgiveness, desires for justice, etc... However, mankind being made in HaShem's likeness could be a symbol of His physical creation. That is, the physical dimensions where our laws of physics exists here on earth. So when we physically make actions that affect the physical reality around us, we are showing that …

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