|Keter Shem Tov 116|
|Written by Bentzion of Medziboz|
The Baal Shem Tov taught on the following:
"If you do not know, O loveliest of women, then go follow the footsteps of the flocks. . . ."1
The Mishnah says: "Who is a wise person? The one who learns from every person."2
This Mishnah can be understood with a parable. When one looks in a mirror, one knows that whatever blemishes and faults that one sees in the mirror are one's own. The same thing applies when one sees blemishes and faults in others - one knows that one is really seeing one's own faults.3
1Song of Songs 1:8.
3Toldos Yaakov Yoseph, Pekudei #3. In other words, the world is like a mirror to our own inner world. We see only that which is part of our own inner realities, on a conscious or unconscious level. If it would not be part of our own inner worlds, we simply would not notice it. Our minds would not be attuned to it, and would not be "sensitive" to pick it up. The screening system that filters what comes into our consciousness would dismiss it as irrelevant. Furthermore, the reason that this mirror image did cross our path, is because our outer world is more than just a random mirror. In fact, it is an intentional mirror meant to reflect back to ourselves what our inner world looks like, as we learned elsewhere (KST 43).
Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Yehoshua Starrett and reprinted with the kind permission of the Baal Shem Tov Foundation. Please visit www.baalshemtov.com
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