Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Avraham was a simple fellow with a generous heart and friendly demeanor, spending his meager earnings to make life better for friends and strangers alike.

His Rebbe, recognizing his giving nature, blessed him to be wealthy, trusting Avraham to utilize his new resources to help even more fellow Jews.

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The story didn’t exactly play out that way. Avraham became prosperous, but also too busy to help the poor.

The Rebbe was disappointed, and came to pay him a visit. He walked into Avraham’s newly renovated opulent living room, with a grand mirror taking center stage on the wall.

“Avraham,” asked the Rebbe, “who do you see in the mirror?”

“Why, myself,” Avraham responded, puzzled.

“And who do you see looking out the window?” asked the Rebbe, moving aside velvet draperies to point outside.

“That’s the Shmerel, the shoemaker.”

“What is the difference between a glass and a mirror?” continued the Rebbe, searching Avraham’s face.

Glass is transparent, while a mirror has a thin layer of silver, which blocks the light and makes it reflective,” answered Avraham, suddenly understanding.

“Rebbe, the silver has gotten to my head, and it has blocked me from seeing the needs of other people!”

The Rebbe smiled, and watched as Avraham took a knife and shaved off the silver in a corner of the mirror, a permanent reminder that while a mirror may be beautiful, the purpose of life is to look through transparent glass, to see the needs of others and how we can be of service to them.

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Sara is a prolific author, with over 150 articles on www.thejewishwoman.org, 26 children’s books, and two books for women, "Close To You" and "Thought Streams."