This week I read a devar Torah by Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss in which he addresses a verse in this week's parsha of Bereishit.
When Hashem was about to create Man, He exclaimed, “Naase Adom, – Let us make Man.” Rashi explains that He was conferring with the angels, teaching us that it should not be above us to take counsel from our inferiors. However, the father of Chassidus, the great Baal Shem Tov, Zt”l, Zy”a, gives a novel explanation to Hashem’s statement of “Naase Adom.” He explains that Hashem was talking to Man himself, saying to him, “Let us together make Man,” for Hashem gave us, the human, an animal-like body that has many physical and materialistic cravings. In this shell he infused a holy neshamah. He then gave us the great charge to make out of that human animal an Adom, a mentch.
...By doing mitzvahs, we make a holy Adom out of the humanoid. The Netziv, Zt”l, Zy”a, elaborates that the rarified term ‘Adom’ is closely related to the term adameh, which means ‘to be like,’ and thus Adom points to the charge of man to be “adameh l’Elyon,” like the One Above. Thus, our charge in life is to rise above the needs of self-gratification and sensual pleasures and to become like Hashem.
Tonight marks the beginning of the yarzheit of the Chatam Sofer.
In the video below, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman addresses a descendant of the Chatam Sofer and Rav Akiva Eiger. The Rav told the individual that "you had such great grandfathers. You have to strive to be like them."
Today the DailyNews reported, "Jim Carrey's girlfriend reportedly committed suicide just days after her mother called her a “failure” in life on her 30th birthday."
"Vayomer Elokim naaseh adam bezalmeinu kedemuteinu;;"
We can be called failures and view ourselves as such, or we can strive to achieve the lofty heights reached by our ancestors.