Hope all is well.
… There is no more fundamental idea in Judaism.
“Man is created in the Image of G-d”.
This assumption is often challenged these days.
Sometimes in books attacking religion.
And sometimes in more subtle ways.
… I recently came across a copy of National Geographic.
(I was in a doctor’s office. It was either that or Arthritis Today Magazine!)
Two letters to the editor caught my attention.
“I vehemently protest the cover story of last month’s issue…
“Who Murdered the Gorillas?”
Murder is a term that has always been used for the unjustified killing of a human being.
Using it to describe the killing of gorillas, as sad as it may be?
Blurs the crucial distinction between human beings and animals.”
That letter was followed by a “different perspective”.
“I applaud your use of the word murder to describe the killing of gorillas!
Anyone who has looked into the eyes of a gorilla knows that they are no different than us.
They have the same soul that we have!”
…The Torah is very clear.
Animals are G-d’s creatures. And we do need to have compassion for them.
But human beings are absolutely unique.
Each and every person is created in the Image of G-d.
Has a neshama, a soul, which is G-dly.
It makes human life sacred.
And entitles every human being to special respect and dignity.
… Our mission as Jews is to be a “light unto the nations”.
We need to protest the idea that a human being is just a more intelligent gorilla.
And what’s the best way to do that?
By really seeing the Divine Image in every person.
And doing the small things that make them feel important.
… I recently picked up kosher sushi at Jewels in Evanston.
The “sushi maker” brought out my tray.
She smiled and said something. Then she said something else.
I had no idea what she said!
But I wanted to make sure she knew that I appreciated her.
That I don’t just see her as someone doing her job.
So I pointed to the tray. I pointed to her.
And gave her the “thumbs up”!
She made my sushi and I made her day!
… You don’t need to go to the moon like Neil Armstrong to take a …
Giant step for mankind!
All the best,