Monday, December 17, 2007

Icons of God

I just ran across an article , by Rabbi Art Green (right), on the Rabbis For Human Rights web site.

I really liked it. I think it elucidates a great Jewish principle. One with major consequences for who we live our lives. (And sets a standards that is, admittedly, hard to live up to.)

Below is and an excerpt. I particularly liked the last paragraph.

You can’t make God’s image; you can only be God’s image. The Genesis account begins with two words for what we call “the image of God.” Tselem is “image” in a representational sense, and it clearly originally referred to the human form, both body and face. Some versions of the early Aramaic translation of the Torah render the word by the Greek “icon;” every human being is God’s icon. An icon, well known in the Christian art that by the fourth century was part of the dominant culture amid which Jews lived, is a depiction of God, a saint, or a holy scene that comes to bear within it the presence of that holy being, and hence is revered in itself.

To call each person an icon of God is to say that each human both resembles and contains the divine form. Each person is to be held aloft, revered, and kissed, as we have seen the Christians do with their icons. No wonder we have no icons in the synagogue! The synagogue is filled with icons as soon as we walk in!


Anonymous A. H. Zoot said...

Are we icons on God's desktop or is God an icon one ours?
And what happens when it is clicked on?

5:25 pm  
Blogger Sydney Nestel said...


Very cute.

Option one is pantheistic.

Option two is radically Reconstructionist.

5:53 pm  

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