See God’s Image in Everyone

Tishrei 2/September 6, 2013—  “Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)” Rabbi Akiba said: This is the greatest principle in the Torah. Ben Azzai quoted the verse: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In that day, God created human beings; in the likeness of God did God make him. (Genesis 5:1)” He said: This is a principle greater than that.

(Sifra on Leviticus 19:18)

For reflection: We will read the Leviticus passage on the afternoon of Yom Kippur. Atonement and forgiveness is bein adam laMakom _- between a person and God, and bein adam la-chaveiro _– between one person and another. Like you, your neighbor is a likeness of the Divine; therefore, look upon each person you encounter during these days knowing that to love them is to love God.

Consider what your life would be like if you lived each day knowing you were a manifestation of God. What could your life be like if you could remember that everyone and everything was a manifestation of God? How is it that it is so hard to remember this? What might you do differently this year to remember?

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