We Are Individuals

“Judaism was much more than the discovery of monotheism, the discovery of a single unified God. That idea is contained in the word Elokim. It was also the discovery that God is a “person” – that the fact that we are persons, with loves, fears, hopes and dreams, is not an accidental by-product of evolution (as some neo-Darwinians claim), but rather an echo of the ultimate reality of the cosmos. We are not gene-producing machines but individuals, each of us unique, irreplaceable, here because God wants us to be here. That is the world-transforming concept of Hashem – and it was only when Adam responded to Eve as a person that he could see himself as a person, and so respond to God as such. That is why the mitzvot regulating the relationship between us and God are inseparable from the mitzvot defining the relationship between us and our fellow human beings.”

Covenant and Conversation: Genesis, p. 39