Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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"There is a story of a rebbé who invited a rich man to come to visit him, because this rich man, for all of his wealth, was not engaged in avoda. He was not giving of himself. So he brought the rich man to the window and said, "˜Look out of the window; what do you see?' He said, "˜I see many people, rebbé.' Then the rebbé took him by the hand and put him in front of the mirror. "˜Look here, what do you see?' The man said, "˜I see myself, rebbé.' And the rebbé said, "˜Behold, in the window there is glass, and in the mirror there is glass. But in the mirror there is also silver. And when you add the silver, you will no longer see the others. You see only yourself.' With the silver"”it may be gold, or it may be the income of a hundred billion dollars from oil"”whatever its source, you may no longer see others, but only yourself, and no longer capable of giving service." I

believe this parable displays the second noble truth, tanha, or the desire for private fulfillment. Obviously the man in the story takes pride in his wealth and material possessions. However, the man is not selfless and does not wish to help others. He solely works to increase his own riches, not those of the world. The rebbé juxtaposes the man's life with the parable; the man must not let money take control of his life, if he does, he will not be able to help others. On the other hand, the parable seems to be placing emphasis on the fourth noble truth, the eightfold path. The rebbé gives advice to the man telling him how he should live his life.