I don't know about you, but I love taking photos.
Nature. Cool buildings. With friends. Places I visit.
Experiences I lead. Classes I teach. Relationships I build.
Memories I make.
And, usually, I have been known to post these photos on my Instagram account, as a way to share some of these photos with my friends and colleagues. Complete with some of my favorite hashtags...
These are all images that I try to capture - in appreciation of the beauty. Sometimes, we feel pressured to add a filter or alter an image with an effect that we believe can enhance it. And other times, we may feel pressure to post something or say something or appear as something that defines our identity in a certain way. But sometimes, my favorite photos are #nofilter.
This morning, we recite one of the daily miracles of which we thank God for.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽנוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשַֽׂנִי בְּצֶֽלֶם אֱלֹהִים
Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asani b’tzelem Elohim.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who made me in the image of God.
Now that's a big concept, and one that some of us might wrestle with. Real talk: who here has taken a selfie or a photo with friends, and upon looking at it, immediately requested for it to be deleted? I know I definitely have. My hair doesn't look good today. (hah) I like a different angle better. Let's try over there where there's better lighting...
The list goes on.
But, what if we challenge ourselves to see the beauty in it all - even the imperfections? Because those are, most often, the things that make the image (tzelem) - and us - unique. So when we say this blessing, giving gratitude for being created in God's image - take a second to consider that. I'm created in God's image. What does that mean? With what responsibility does that come with? What if we treated each other that way all the time?
I don't know about you, but I think that newsfeed would look pretty awesome.
It's July 4th - a day when many of us celebrate our independence. So before we say the blessing together, here's a challenge: let's celebrate the unique and special qualities that we each have and contribute to the Sci-Tech community. Be proud of and true to who you are.
Originally used as a morning intention at URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy during Boker Big Bang.
Cross-posted at 6PointsSciTech.org