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Copycats 101

Friday, 1 October, 2021 - 8:55 am

Some people loathe copycats.

Others adore the emulation.

In the opening parsha of the Torah, Bereishit, studied this week as the weekly Torah portion, we learn about how the world came to be. The act of creation is an act that no one has been able to copy.

In fact, a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed G-d. So, they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The scientist walked up to G-d and said, "G-d, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."

G-d listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, G-d said, "Very well, how about this? Let's say we have a man-making contest."

To which the scientist replied, "Okay, great!"

But G-d added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."

The scientist said, "Sure, no problem," and bent down and grabbed a handful of dirt.

G-d looked at him and said, "No, no, no. That’s My dirt. Go get your own dirt!"


However, the first command that G-d gives humanity is, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” The only act in which humans can truly emulate the elusive act of Creation is – procreation. And, G-d insists that we become copycats. ‘Go create another person,’ Hashem implores.

The founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, explains this in spiritual terms.

Certainly, the Torah maintains that we must physically bear children – if we are so blessed by the True Creator.

But, the Torah is also asserting that every person has the ability to ‘create’ another person. We can each influence others to live up to their calling, to genuinely reflect that they are an ‘image of G-d.’

For us Jews this means we must make more Jews. Now, we don’t proselytize. But, we are expected to make more Jews Jewish. You can’t quite become more Jewish. Either you are Jewish or you aren’t. But, you can behave more Jewishly.


So, to paraphrase the Torah: Go be a copycat and change someone’s life. Create a person. Create a Jew.

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