Mishna, Pirkei Avot, 3:14
משנה, פרקי אבות ג:יד
הוא היה אומר חביב אדם שנברא בצלם. חבה יתירה נודעת לו שנברא בצלם שנאמר (בראשית ט) בצלם אלהים עשה את האדם.
[Rabbi Akiva] would say, ‘Human beings are beloved because they were created in the image of God. It is an even greater love that this was made know to humanity, as it says, "and in the image of God were people created." [AJWS translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How does an awareness that we have been made in God’s image affect the way we treat ourselves? How does it affect how we treat others?

2. If you were to take the idea of b’tzelem Elohim seriously, how would it change your behavior? How would it change a society if everyone took it seriously?

3. Is there any value to the concept of b’tzelem Elohim if you do not believe in God?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)