Parable of the month January: if one kills a human being, one kills the image of God
For the Dutch discussion of this parable, see here.
In this midrash, the physical presentation of the Ten Words on the two tablets, is the focus of attention. They are ordered in such a way that the oppositely placed commandments shed a light on each other. In this midrash, the first and the sixth commandments (in the Jewish tradition) are combined by means of the biblical notion of the creation of humankind in the image of God: if one kills a human being, one kills the image of God, and thus he violates the first commandment. A well-chosen parable illustrates this idea effectively.
How were the Ten Words given?
Five on this tablet,
and five on that tablet.
“I the Lord am your God” (Exod 20:2),
and opposite it is written:
“You shall not murder” (Exod 20:13).
Scripture says that anyone who sheds blood
it is accounted to him as if he diminished the (divine) image.
of a king of flesh and blood who entered a province,
and he had portraits of him set up,
and they made statues of him,
and they struck coins of him.
After some time they turned over his portraits,
they broke his statues,
they defaced his coins,
and they diminished the image of the king.
So, all who sheds blood
it is accounted to him as if he diminished the (divine) image,
as it is said: “Whoever sheds the blood of man etc. “(Gen 9:6).
“for in His image did God make man” (Gen 9:6 cont.).
Source: Mekhilta de rabbi Ishmael, Bachodesh, chapter 8