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Bereishit

  • Let us make man in our image

    And G-d said, Let us make man in our image... - וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ - Bereshit 1:26

    There are many explanations for this verse, such as who did G-d speak with, and who did He consult with? The Sages say that G-d has consulted with the angels, before creating a man... But maybe, it can also have a different meaning.

    Perhaps, it was not the angels that Hashem consulted with, but He consulted with the souls of the future rabbis and teachers of the Torah. Like for example:  Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, David, Shlomo, Rambam, Rashi, the sages of the Talmud, Mishna, and the rabbis of every generation until our times.

    Why? Because these are the people that dedicate their lives to learn Torah, and as they do this, something happens to them. They become holy and their Tzelem Elokim or Divine Image is revealed to the world.

    So, Hashem was speaking to these great souls, or shall we say - instructing them: Let us make man in OUR IMAGE. What does it mean - in Our Image or Divine Image - it is a study of how to emulate Hashem - to be holy as Him, to do as Him, to live life according to His Torah, and His laws.

    Since Hashem is Holy, and the above souls already have the Divine Image which is revealed later because of their learning, and self-work to emulate Hashem - their congregants, and their followers that come to shuls, and places of study all across the globe, haven't yet acquired their Divine Image. So, this will be the job of the rabbis and the teachers of the Torah in every generation - to teach, to guide, and to help individuals to reveal their Divine Image while leaving their own Torah knowledge in the pages of the Talmud, in their students, and in their books.

    Shmuel Katanov

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