Let Us Make Man in Our Image, After Our Own Likeness

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497) After all the craftsmen completed their work, the Creator said to them: “I have one craft to make, in which we will all participate. Join together all of you to make in it each his share, and I will partake with you, to give it of My share.” It is written about it, “Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness.” Sages explained that there is no man but Israel, as it is written, “And you are My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men.” “You are men,” and not the idol worshippers. This is why it is written, “Let Israel be glad with his Maker.”

498) Rabbi Shimon said, “This must have been said by that sage who was hiding in the serpent’s rock. It is written about him, “Your dwelling place is strong, and set your nest in the rock.” The three patriarchs are called “strong [or firm],” and the fourth, Moses, is, “Your dwelling place is strong,” in which the law, the Shechina, sits. It was said about her, “A law for Moses out of Sinai,” spreading over the 600,000 Israel and illuminating for them in the Torah when the sun is covered at night, and illuminates to all the stars and fortunes.

So it was with Moses. Had he not hid in that rock, he would not have been able to illuminate to Israel. Also, there is no night but the exile. This is the meaning of what is written, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” related to the exile. At that time Moses hides in the rock and appears during the day, at the time of redemption, as it is written about it, “The morning light arose.” This is Abraham’s morning, of which it is written, “And you shall see the glory of the Lord,” and as it is written, “As the Lord lives. Lie down until morning.”

499) At that time Moses came out of that rock and appeared to Rabbi Shimon. He said, “Rabbi Shimon, what will I get out of hiding from you? After all, I did not leave a place into which I did not enter in order to hide from you, yet I did not find that I could hide in it from you. Therefore, I have no reason to hide from you any longer.”

500) Once it was said, “Let us make man in our image after our own likeness,” why does it say afterward, “And God created the man in His own image”? When He asked the angels about the creation of man, some of them said, “Let him be created,” and some of them said, “Let him not be created.” The Creator created him, as it is written, “And God created the man in His own image.”

Thus, He did not place in him one portion from the angels, and he was not made in their form, but in the form of the king, in His image and after His own likeness, only in the image of the likeness of His mold.

501) It is not that he was not included with all the angels and creations. Rather he was created out of all the angels and creations, and He enthroned him over all creations. But if He had given each his share to man, then at a time when He was angry at the man, each would take back his share.

502) But the Creator created him in His image. Malchut is called “image,” the image of everything, so that all the dwellers of BYA are included in her. The Creator looked at her and created the world, and all the creations He had created in the world, and included in her the upper and the lower, without any separation. He included in her ten Sefirot, and all the names, appellations, and HaVaYot [pl. of HaVaYaH], and the cause of everything, the master of everything. There is nothing in the upper ones and lower ones that is less than her, as she is the connection of everyone, and the wholeness of everyone, to keep in her the verse, “And His kingdom rules over all.”

It is so because there is nothing less of the cause of everything in even one of the upper and lower if she, Malchut, is not included in him. She is called “the faith of Israel,” and with respect to the cause of everything, it is written about her, “since you did not see any form.” But with respect to her mingling with the rest of creation, it is written about her, “And the image of the Lord does he behold.”

503) There is no one who takes one’s share from him, for not even one in the world placed his share in him, except the Creator, only the cause of everything, and on Him depends his punishment or reward, and not on an angel or a seraph, nor on any creation in the world. Because of it, one who connects the aim for the Creator with another thing is uprooted from the world.

504) How fortunate is he who exerts in the last exile to know the Shechina, to honor her in all the Mitzvot, and to suffer for her several afflictions, as we learn, “The bride’s reward is affliction and sorrow,” that is, “According to the sorrow, so is the reward,” as it is written, “And he laid in that place.” Vayishkav [and he laid] has the letters of VeYesh [and there are] ChafBet (22), for if there are twenty-two letters of the Torah there, meaning that he is complete in the Torah, the Shechina lays with him.

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