In every aspect Reb Elimelech ascended. But no matter how high he soared, his humility caused him to view himself as one who has not properly fulfilled his obligations.
Reb Elimelech maintained that a person should view his deeds and actions as incomplete and insufficient, so as to serve as an incentive to strive higher. Furthermore, one is obligated to avoid flattery, dishonesty, laziness, slander, jealousy, hatred, aggressiveness, anger and hubris.
His aspirations were very much in line with the chassidic approach to observe far more than what is actually required by Jewish law.
All of Judaism’s laws, customs, restrictions and prohibitions do not encompass what chassidus expects – indeed demands – from its adherents. A chassid will go far beyond the letter of the law and flee from the slightest possibility of sin and will be willing to make painful sacrifices to uphold the law.
(To be continued)
Chodesh tov – have a pleasant month!