The Pursuit of Perfection: Vice or Virtue in Judaism?

Chazal exhort us to strive for ever higher goals. It says in ( כג : א )
תנא דבי אליהו רבה לפיכך יהיו אומרים כל אחד ואחד , מתי יגיעו מעשיי למעשה אברהם יצחק ויעקב
– ( When will my deeds equal those of my forefathers)? Likewise, the concept of shleimus ( ” שלימות ” ), which can be translated as perfection , is also an honored goal in chazal . On the other hand, clinical experience and research indicates that perfectionism is often associated with serious emotional disorders (Blatt, 1995 ; Flett & Hewitt, 2002; Sorotzkin, 1985, 1998) which, in turn, eventually results in lower levels of achievement.

 

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