Not His is the corruption, but the blemish is His children's - a convoluted and twisted generation (Deut. 32:5)

In the year 1790, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi entrusted his eldest son, Rabbi DovBer, with the task of serving as mentor and spiritual guide (mashpia) to the young men who studied in Li'ozna and, by means of correspondence, to those who studied in the homes of their fathers or fathers-in-law throughout Russia. At the time, Rabbi DovBer was a tender, but brilliant, sixteen years of age.

On one occasion the young mashpia said to his disciples: "A person's toil to refine his character and serve his Creator must be conducted with an inner integrity, without pretensions.

"One who engages in illusions of grandeur is fooling no one but himself. And what's the big deal about fooling a fool?"