parable of the baal shem tov

The King's countenance shines out and nourishes all the lands. The goal of every person is to gaze upon the countenance of the King, but the trouble is there are walls in the way. Not only are there walls but there are lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Beyond the scorpions and wild animals there are even more insidious diversions. The King's minions distribute gold and silver and all manner of riches and wealth. Even the most stalwart men look at their arms laden in gold and silver and all the walls and fearsome creatures ahead, their hearts fail them, they console themselves with the riches currently in their possession, and flee. Even though they've already traversed some of the most difficult walls, they fall back.

Only the true son of the King doesn't turn back. Of what worth are the trinkets of gold and silver? He distributes them all in bribes to the guards of the walls, gives them away freely because they are nothing to him. Though the walls may be formidable, how can he give up? Only his Father's countenance will bring him comfort. When he is beset upon by fear and suffering he calls out and his heart shatters into splinters from his great longing to see his Father, the King. His longing is so great that he becomes utterly nullified to it. He calls out to his Father, and because of his great desire, and his Father's great mercy on His son, the King brings him closer until finally all the veils are removed and the true son of the King stands before his Father, the King.

The King tells his son to look out upon all the world, from one end to the other, and suddenly there are no walls to be seen, only an endless paradise of orchards cared for by the loyal and loving servants of the king. Then the King returns only the barest of veils, nothing like the earlier walls, merely enought that the true son of the King might continue to exist.
(paraphrased from memory, i hope acurately, Netiv Mitzwotecha (Emunah 4:1))
I share this parable because so many of my thoughts of late are reactions or understandings pertaining to it.

Oh, and because it's beautiful and makes me want to cry from the sweetness of it.


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