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The Image

The Image

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How you treat others is how G‑d treats you. How you forgive them is how He forgives you. How you measure them is how He measures you.

When you show empathy for the plight of another human being, G‑d takes empathy in your plight.

When others slight you and you ignore the call to vengeance that burns inside, G‑d erases all memory of your failures toward Him.

When you see the image of G‑d in another human being, then the image of G‑d becomes revealed within you.

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
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Yaakov Yosefbarhu January 4, 2016

Measure your self? Many pages turn in these statements. We have guidelines on how to treat others by Torah. The standard for forgiveness and revenge (eye for eye). The very reason for the city of refuge. Only when the person get to the city will he be safe for the time being. G-d will deal with the evil in people now and in the future. The statement "we can get bitter or get better", applies to us. G-d has truly set the standard for Truth. But at last we should try to be light in this dark world. The darkness is automatically dispelled by light. When we see a fellow Jew we see ourselves. We are His children, but not all are called children, but are only His creation. So we are to treat fellow Jews as our own children per say. The others that are called His creation, feed on their own desires, not G-d'. Some will be drawn to G-d by our action, but some will not. I am hoping that I can follow the Torah and do what is right. Reply

Anonymous November 7, 2011

theft By and large, we do our best to limit our share of taxes. No problem. It's human nature.

Problems arise when Warren Buffet exclaims that the tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy are ludicrous. He pays a couple thousand on millions in profit. Legalized theft.

Cut to Greece. They have a residential swimming pool tax. There are 60,000 such pools. The rich have the pools. 300 pay the tax. It is estimated that the Greek underground economy robs 25 % of taxes owed.Italy figures 22 % Spain-20 %. USA - 7 %. The European problem did not happen overnight. The main excuse given for tax evasion is the extravagances and corruption of government, bridges to nowhere, waste. It's an ingrained system, an addiction. Greece was rewarded with a 50 % reduction on its debt.

The Greek president may be gone, but he made his citizens look in the mirror. You think that they will change ?

Forget taxes. Every negative behavior is some form of theft/narcotic. It would be nice to see a change. Reply

Anonymous River Falls, Al - U S A November 7, 2011

Be Within stay above Thank you Rabbi
For your message I t was so well said That I send it to a person that I thought that he need to read this.message . maybe he will turn his heart around and learn how to forgive another !
I enjoy each time and look forward to another one may G-D Bless and keep you ! Reply

Suzann Rowe Long Beach, CA November 6, 2011

I, too, needed this reminder! Wow, loved this one. Straight to the point!

Have a hard time being "forgiving" when it comes to our countries political leaders behaviors, greed and lack of concern for the citizens of America.

So, I will print this out and read and absorb as often as possible so I can continue to be loving and forgiving to the majority of those I interact with on a daily basis. Sometimes, it is difficult to be forgiving to those who hurt our hearts, act abusively and let the chips fall where they may! We always can change so let that be the battlecry! Reply

Anonymous November 6, 2011

theme Lately I am reading a ton about empathy and forgiveness and loving your neighbor. However I see so many villains in our world. And a few people who go from good to less than good, and bad to worse. And yes I see people go from great to greater.

The ideal presented here is beautifully uplifting and I mean that. I observe more of a downward slope in reality. Maybe I am jaundiced, the slide probably evens out. Reply

Adam Waldhorn Tarzana, CA November 6, 2011

But Wait a minute....!!? This sounds indeed beautiful, but what about the Souls who experienced the holocaust and other countless similar tragedies... This wisdom would imply that they (who experienced these tragedies) have treated other human beings the way they were treated ...(G-d forbid) ???! How can that be ....??? Reply

Susie Kahn Parker Northridge, CA November 6, 2011

How Relevant! Every time I read the daily posting based on the wisdom of Rabbi Schneerson (of blessed memory) I am blown-away by the relevance of the statement, and how easy it is to understand! As someone who sadly doesn't know Hebrew, and who only touched on Talmudic teachings (by reading on my own, as an adult; long after my confirmation, at Shevuot, 5722. I'm just thrilled to learn something new every day, and to be able to understand the "lesson" of the words. I've never stopped my learning, and I come from a family that has been part of the Reform movement for a number of generations now. But don't mistake it for being "Judaism Lite" as some say in criticizing our existence. It's one of the reasons I enjoy these daily postings: My Judaism is a "living, breathing and RELEVANT part of my life! So these daily teachings (along with my other extensive reading and seminars) are (and always will be) an important part of my daily meditations and actions, especially when it comes to Tikkun Olam! Reply

Chava san francisco, california November 6, 2011

Thanks - I needed this reminder today.... Reply

larry miller west orange, nj November 6, 2011

brilliant. outstanding. enlightening. fantastic. Reply

Anonymous Forest Hills , NY/USA November 6, 2011

The Image I feel I totally fail in this subject. As much I trust G-d I also know how.we all fall short of His glory and am more familiar with our negative side. So honestly I think I do not have a very good image of myself nor most of everybody and mainly just hope for G-d's mercy in the mean time for all. Reply

Harry J Shelhamer November 6, 2011

Just when I need it most I really needed this one. Reply

Gloria I Saint Cloud , Fl. December 1, 2008

The Image I totally agree with the comment ,and I even think we live the experience every day and see the results of it , every minute. Reply

Tzvi Freeman Thornhill, Ontario November 27, 2008

More sources Rabbi Naftali Silberberg just pointed out an important source that I missed--from Hayom Yom of two days ago:
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R. Aizik Homiler related: When I came to Lyozna I met elder chassidim who had been chassidim of the Maggid and of R. Menachem Mendel of Horodok. They used to say:

Have affection for a fellow-Jew and G-d will have affection for you;

do a kindness for a fellow-Jew and G-d will do a kindness for you;

befriend a fellow-Jew and G-d will befriend you.
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(...but I'm still searching for the original) Reply

Tzvi Freeman Thornhill, Ontario November 27, 2008

[continued] Then there's the oft-quoted teaching of the Magid on "Know what is above you": "Know that whatever is above, is from you." Really this is a general principal of the Zohar. The Talmud, as well, teaches "According to the measure a person measures by, so he is measured." And "Who is honored? He who honors others."

One day, I will find again the original writing that this came out of. Until then, I hope these suffice to demonstrate that it didn't come out of thin air. Reply

Tzvi Freeman Thornhill, Ontario November 27, 2008

Re: How does he know? Shmuel Yosef asks a fair question. Each of the thoughts here was written as a kind of summary of some talk or writing from the Rebbe, sometimes from a predecessor. Unfortunately, I was not wise enough to footnote all of them with a source, and by now, the original source for some is forgotten.

Nevertheless, here are some statements often cited and elucidated in Chassidus Chabad. First an untranslatable one (from Yoma 23a):
כל המעביר על מדותיו מעבירין לו על כל פשעיו
Roughly: Overcome your natural reaction to others, and your own sins will be overlooked.
Here's one (cited in LS 18, pg. 167) on the verse "G_d is your shadow": The Baal Shem Tov would always be rebuking the people with this verse, saying that according to how a person behaves in this world, so G_d imitates and treats him. [continued] Reply

marianne juliette wilson houston, texas November 27, 2008

quick, quick, tzvi, can you come up w/ a torah reference to help shmuel to know & grasp g-d's generosity? blessings on all of you posters. Reply

Shmuel Yosef Kamman Delray Beach, Florida November 27, 2008

The Image These are very nice sentiments. But how does Tzvi Freeman know these things?
This comment is not intended as sarcastic or negative. I would honestly like to know how Tzvi comes to know these things. Reply

Anita via chabad.edu November 26, 2008

The Image Wow that was pretty deep for me, It really makes me aware of how I treat other, thanks so much I needed to read that Reply

marianne juliette wilson houston, texas November 26, 2008

the image it gives me the incentive to be extra compassionate, extra kind, extra merciful, extra generous & extra understanding to everyone i meet. it's like a company that martches the savings of it's employees...that is what the lord will do for us. Reply

Joy Krauthammer Northridge, CA November 26, 2008

Revealing the image of G*d Oh, this Dose feels really good.

Couple days ago I visited someone in a Rehab facility. And it was her birthday that day. This person had clearly "slighted" me 12 months ago. A mean act. I felt no "vengeance", but other feelings. We remained distant. I never thought about MY need to forgive the person. (That is work that I need to do.)

Reading The Image, I see how I can benefit from my "forgiving" the one for how she treated me.

I had clearly decided not to visit. I left a phone message, dayenu and wrote a card. Because the former friend was recuperating and it was her birthday, I decided that visiting was the right thing to do, and went with a little healing gift, a card, and some favorite ice cream to cheer.

And you are telling me that my "failures" are erased? Wow, a bonus from the Compassionate One. I have chills.
THANK YOU.

BlesSings, Reply