But time and time again, we see Rabbi Salanter's recurring insistence that those who might be involved in his performance of mitzvot would not be worked hard or inconvenienced for him. Rabbi Salanter had a keen understanding that mitzvot and treatment of other are linked together. Fulfilling a commandment at the expense of others actually brings the level of holiness a deed lower, as it is done on the back of another without concern.
consideration is love
How terrible for you, hypocritical soferim and Perushim! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, but neglect the weighty things in the Torah: justice, kindness, and emunah; you ought to do one without neglecting the other. Blind guides, who strain out the mosquito but swallow the camel! --Matthew 23:23-24, DHE
Mashiach Yeshua exhorts us to consider our actions in light of how they affect all involved. While it is a mitzvah to tithe mint, dill and cummin, neglecting the other mitzvot to appear diligent in the eyes of the law is a sham. No one is fooled by it and it eventually degrades your service to Hashem. Tithing spices while oppressing others and showing little concern for their needs is nothing short of hypocrisy.
No matter what it is we do, we must have foresight to see the ramifications of any good deed we might seek to perform. We are easily clouded by our own desire to appear right, holy and diligent. This quality, while a positive driving force, can also be a blindness. We need to keep this desire in check so we do not make ourselves and others victims of a shabby form of righteousness.
We must not only take into consideration the many ways in which we can exemplify true righteousness through scrupulous attention, but also see how that level of detail will affect those around us and if it will yield a win-win in all arenas. As we are supposed to serve the Eternal in heaven, we have to comprehend that we do so with our feet on the earth. Being grounded in this simple principle will help us to realize that the divine service is not only through our prayers, study and hidden deeds — it also shines through the love and consideration we show for one another. Let us learn to live by the law without causing others harm: only then that will we be considered truly righteous.
Gospel references taken from Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels (DHE)®, © Copyright Vine of David 2010. Used by permission.