"And God created the human in God's image, in the image of God, God created the human; male and female God created them." -Genesis 1:27
"Above all demarcations of races and nations, castes and classes, oppressors and servants, givers and recipients, above all delineations even of gifts and talents stands one certainty: Man. Whoever bears this image is created and called to be a revelation of human dignity." -Leo Baeck, The Essence of Judaism, rev. ed. [New York: Schocken Books, 1948], p. 152
Being created in the Divine image means that all people, regardless of nationality, sexual orientation, gender, faith or race deserve respect, compassion and equality. We are, each of us, representations of the Divine on earth. When one of us is diminished, God's Presence in the world is diminished. When one of us is disrespected, God, Godself is disrespected.
This faith in our shared embodiment of the Divine spirit demands that we treat all people, including those with whom we disagree, with respect. At the same time, it calls upon each of us to ensure that others do the same. We must not allow the demonization of whole religions, races, genders or sexual orientations. We must stand tall and speak out against racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism and bigotry in all of its forms. We must have the courage and compassion to see within each person the Divine spark and we must be willing to stand up to those who wish to extinguish those bright lights.