Q. I know that people can improve their religious observance by doing more mitzvot, but what about people who do all the mitzvot already? How do they improve themselves?
A. I am not so sure that anyone does all the mitzvot. It is not only that some mitzvot only apply when we have a Temple and live in the Land of Israel, but many of the mitzvot deal with attitudes and not acts. Loving your neighbour as yourself, honouring your parents, keeping away from “a false word”, never deviating from the path of justice – these are also mitzvot, and we can all improve the way we carry them out.
The Kotzker Rebbe had a further explanation. When asked a similar question, he said, “The right motivation is also part of the mitzvot. It is not only the act that is important, but whether we think the right thoughts when we do it.” In that sense no-one can be called perfect.