One hundred and sixty years ago, in 1861, Abraham Lincoln became president of the United States. He altered the consciousness of the nation forever and his legacy is felt to this day, over a century and a half later. It's not for naught that the Lincoln Memorial lies at the heart of Washington D.C.

Right in front of the Lincoln Memorial lies the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. This nearly seven million gallon body of water is one of the most prominent features of the National Mall, stretching all the way to the WW2 Memorial.

In this week's Torah portion we read about the life of Jacob, the third father of the Jewish people, and how he lived out his final seventeen years in Egypt. As Jews, we live with Jacob's legacy to this day, over three thousand years later. Jacob also had a reflecting pool, but his was spiritual. This spiritual refecting pool was in turn bequeathed to every Jew since, residing deep within every one of us.

Jacob's descendant, King Solomon, would encapsulate this Jewish reflecting pool in his book of Proverbs: 'Just as water reflects one's face back to them, so does one man’s heart reflect that of his fellow' (כַּ֭מַּיִם הַפָּנִ֣ים לַפָּנִ֑ים כֵּ֤ן לֵֽב־הָ֝אָדָ֗ם לָאָדָֽם) wrote Solomon.

What is so special about the ability to reflect, as water does? Every one of us, at our core, is pure, selfless, kind and good. When a physical object is truly refined, such as a diamond, it become transparent and lucid. Thus, when one looks at it one can see right through it, and can similarly see one's reflection staring right back at them (like calm, pure water).

The Neshama of every Jew is pristine, pure and selfless. It is a true 'reflecting pool'. It seeks to rise beyond itself and help others. The Neshama within each and every one of us truly does, in its sensitivity, reflect the feelings of others. It also is sensitive to the missions with which G‑d charged each of us - making the world a holier, kinder place.

King Solomon words connote this fact, expressing the purity of the Neshama, the soul, to be truly sensitive to the feelings of others - 'Just as water reflects one's face back to them, so does one man’s heart reflect that of his fellow'.

Our very own 'reflecting pools', bequeathed to us to by our forefathers - the last of which was Jacob - and foremothers, are inherently sensitive to both our fellow human beings' needs, as well as to the Mitzvahs that G‑d gave to us. We don't need to create it, it's already there within us, waiting for us to rediscover.

Rabbi Avrohom