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Tammuz 9

He created him [Adam] in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

Since God is not corporeal, the term "image of God" obviously refers to humanity's capacity for Godliness, i.e. to share in the Divine attributes of rational thinking, spirituality, sanctity, creativity - attributes that distinguish us from all other living things.

The serpent seduced Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge by convincing them that doing so would enable them to become God-like (ibid. 3:5). Why did they succumb to this argument, since they already knew that they were created betzelem Elokim, with the capacity to be God-like? Today, sadly, we have found one answer.

Misguided proponents of drugs claimed that certain drugs would create new senses of perception, and that users would thereby be able to perceive the "real truth" of the universe. As a result, millions of people, many of them young people with minds still in the delicate formative stage, have had their brains poisoned and their thinking distorted.

The tragic mistake of the Sixties bears great resemblance to the first sin. God bestowed humanity with a mind fully capable of participating in Godliness in its most comprehensive sense. Artificial substitutes proffered were treacherously deceptive; far from granting new vistas of truth, the forbidden fruit was described by God as something that would bring only death and destruction. We have witnessed an analogue of Adam and Eve's sin.

We are fully endowed to be able to know the truth. All we must do is make the effort. Chemicals are not a shortcut to truth, but a sure road to destruction.

Today I shall...

utilize my God-given mental capacities to search for truth and not be misled by false promises for instant spirituality.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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