At the beginning of the Bible we are told that human beings are an honored part of God’s creation. In fact, we are told that God created man in His own image! The Hebrew word for image is “tselem” which is derived from a shorter Hebrew word, “tzel”, meaning “shadow.” Do you see the connection? When the beams of light fall upon anything, a shadow (tzel) appears next to it. According to the Bible, a human being is nothing less than the image (tzelem) of God because in many ways he/she wondrously reflects/shadows God’s perfection and beauty.
Another intriguing way in which we can see this connection is reflected in name “Bezalel.” Literally, Bezalel (Betzalel) means “in the shadow of God”. He was person appointed by God to create the Tabernacle and all its furnishings (Ex.31). The Tabernacle and everything inside it allowed the Ancient Israelites to approach God in order to worship.
When a human being worships the God of Heaven and Earth it is as if he or she steps into the very shadow of God, becoming part of it, reflecting God’s perfection and beauty.
© Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg. All rights reserved.