To a large degree, the imitation of God is man’s task in this world.
As our sages put it, “Try to emulate Him. As He is gracious and merciful, so you be gracious and merciful” (Masekhet Soferim 3:17).
In this way, man becomes a vehicle for carrying out God’s work in the world.
Man was created in God’s image and likeness, or as one of the greatest hasidic masters put it: Man’s soul is “truly a part of God from on high” (Tanya, ch. 2).
Thus, his whole essential purpose is to be like a spark of divinity in this world.
“You have made him but little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and majesty.
You have made him master over the works of Your hands, placed all things at his feet” (Ps. 8:6-7).
Man’s distinction in this world is the channeling, imitation, and completion of God’s work.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz