The Mitteler Rebbe, Rabbi DovBer, while a child, studied the Mishna, 1 Circumcision without severance of the membrane is not circumcision. He interpreted the Mishna in terms of man's service, in this manner: He who performs on himself the mitzvah of circumcision, You shall circumcise the obduracy of your hearts, 2 beginning to serve G‑d with love and awe, but has still not severed himself from his complete past, i.e., he does not strenuously fulfill, Turn away from evil and do good, 3 and yet considers himself circumcised and fit to progress in His service-such a person is not deemed circumcised at all.

Abandonment of darkness does not imply purification from his brutishness. As we have said about the haughty person, his very spiritual affairs are of a gross nature. Though he studies Torah and fulfills his religious obligations meticulously, and this is certainly spiritual, but the spiritual itself is gross, because of his innate crassness. This is not to say that he is not good according to Torah standards; he may well be good, but he is material and brutish nonetheless.

Until one has purified his intellect, emotions, and soul-garbs, he still stands on the outside, so to speak. Despite his divine service, his study of Chasidus or Torah in general, his competence in the subject matter of his studies, his familiarity with the varieties of service of the heart, his meditations on the concepts he has studied in Chasidus to the degree that his mind is inspired by the excellence of that concept and his heart is moved by a feeling of closeness and love of G‑d, or conversely, of awe and fear of G‑d-despite all this, he remains on the perimeter until he purifies his mind, emotion, thought, speech, and deed.