Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Anthropomorphism in Talmudic literature: trends in Jewish thought and scholarly research; 2. Anthropomorphism and imago dei - some basic distinctions; 3. Halakhah and Aggadah; 4. On terminology and methodology; 5. The four modes of judicial execution; 6. Image, likeness, and presence; 7. Murder and capital punishment: diminishing the divine image; 8. Procreation: 'an eternal building'; 9. From the Temple to humanity: transformation in the focus of holiness; Epilogue. The idea of creation in the divine image has a long and complex history. While its roots apparently lie in the royal myths of Mesopotamia and Egypt, this book argues that it was the biblical account of creation presented in the first chapters of Genesis and its interpretation in early rabbinic literature that created the basis for the perennial inquiry of the concept in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yair Lorberbaum reconstructs the idea of the creation of man in the image of God (tselem Elohim) attributed in the Midrash and the Talmud. He analyzes meanings attributed to tselem Elohim in early rabbinic thought, as expressed in Aggadah, and explores its application in the normative, legal, and ritual realms.