Ach betzelem hitalech ish - Only in the image of God does mankind exist.
Tehillim - Psalms 39
The Hebrew Bible introduces into the world the radical idea that human beings are uniquely able to make moral choices and that because mankind is created in the image of God every person is of infinite worth.
This idea is called "betzelem Elokim" in Hebrew and forms the foundation of Jewish ethics as well as the basis for the concept of universal human rights that we have today.
The Jewish tradition challenges us to have a passion for justice and states that the task of man is to imbue the world with holiness and righteousness and to partner with God in making the world a better place.
But what does it mean to be created in the image of God?
Tzelem is a Jewish organisation based in Israel and the UK. It supports educational projects that spread the notion of "betzelem Elokim" and works towards the rights and dignity of people everywhere.