14 I will mount the back of a cloud— I will match the Most High.”
e-e-LEH al BA-mo-tay av e-da-MEH l’-el-YON
יד אֶעֱלֶה עַל־בָּמֳתֵי עָב אֶדַּמֶּה לְעֶלְיוֹן׃
14:14 I will match the Most High
The Hebrew word for ‘man’ is adam (אדם). Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz, who lived in Prague in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and is better known by the acronym of his important work as “the Shelah”, points out that the word adam may originate from the word edameh (אֶדַּמֶּה), ‘I will match,’ in this verse — indicating that man’s mission in this world is imitatio dei, the imperative to imitate God by emulating His actions. At the same time, man should not become haughty due to his lofty task. This too is hinted at by the word adam, which may also be derived from the word adama (אֲדָמָה) ‘earth,’ reminding man of his lowly origins, as he was fashioned from the earth (Genesis 2:7).