mortal man that You have taken note of him, (6) that You have made him little less than divine,
and adorned him with glory and majesty;
(א) "פתחו שערים ויבוא גוי צדיק שומר אמונים"
(ד) וכאשר יוחד האדם בענין שהוא זר בו מאוד מה שאין כן בדבר מן הנמצאות מתחת גלגל הירח - והוא ההשגה השכלית - אשר לא ישתמש בה חוש ולא מעשה גוף ולא יד ולא רגל - דימה אותה בהשגת האלוה אשר אינה בכלי (ואם אינו דמיון באמת אבל לנראה מן הדעת תחילה). ונאמר באדם מפני זה הענין - רצוני לומר מפני השכל האלוקי המדובק בו - שהוא ב'צלם אלוקים ובדמותו' - לא שהאלוה ית' גוף שיהיה בעל תמונה
(1) "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in."--(Isa. 26:2.) . . .
[In man the "form" is that constituent which gives him human perception: and on account of this intellectual perception the term ẓelem is employed in the sentences "In the ẓelem of God he created him" (Gen. 1:27). It is therefore rightly said, "Thou despisest their ẓelem" (Ps. 73:20); the "contempt" can only concern the soul--the specific form of man, not the properties and shape of his body. I am also of opinion that the reason why this term is used for "idols" may be found in the circumstance that they are worshipped on account of some idea represented by them, not on account of their figure and shape. . . ; and in the phrase "Let us make man in our ẓelem" (Gen. 1:26), the term signifies "the specific form" of man, viz., his intellectual perception, and does not refer to his "figure" or "shape." ]
(4) As man's distinction consists in a property which no other creature on earth possesses, viz., intellectual perception, in the exercise of which he does not employ his senses, nor move his hand or his foot, this perception has been compared--though only apparently, not in truth--to the Divine perception, which requires no corporeal organ. On this account, i.e., on account of the Divine intellect with which man has been endowed, he is said to have been made in the form and likeness of the Almighty, but far from it be the notion that the Supreme Being is corporeal, having a material form.
Are animals lower than humans?
Humans are ethically responsible creatures who are responsive to the presence of God in nature and in history.
Yuval Noah Harari: “intelligence always went hand in hand with consciousness. The only intelligent entities were conscious entities. The only ones who could play chess, drive vehicles, fight wars and diagnose diseases were conscious human beings. But intelligence is now decoupling from consciousness. We are developing non-conscious algorithms that can play chess, drive vehicles, fight wars and diagnose diseases better than us. When the economy has to choose between intelligence and consciousness, the economy will choose intelligence. It has no real need for consciousness. Once AI outperforms human drivers and doctors, millions of drivers and doctors around the world will lose their jobs, even though the AI has no consciousness.”