The Shared Dream

The order of Jewish holidays, listed in this week's reading, teaches us the fundamentals of our relationship with God

Jews who take the claims of Jewish tradition seriously are forced to live with an almost unbearable tension. Judaism claims that every single human being is created in the image of God and has infinite dignity and worth as a result. Each of us is, the Mishna tells us, not merely beloved by God but also capable of living in full consciousness of being loved. And yet history and the reality we inhabit often make a mockery of human dignity; human beings are oppressed and degraded in countless ways. Political regimes that rob us of freedom and basic dignities, illnesses that incapacitate and humiliate us, relationships that dehumanize us in excruciating ways--all conspire to make the idea that we are created in the image of God seem Pollyannaish at best and downright delusional at worst.

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