Rabbi Zvi Leshem: What is a Chassid?
From Nishmat (via Yitz):
What is a Chassid?
by Rabbi Zvi Leshem (Blobstein)
1) Rav Hillel Zeitlein, Safran Shel Yichidim, page 43: "And what is the main essence of the Chassidut of the Besht? The main essence is in the 'three loves' that the Besht taught; Love of God, Love of Israel, and Love of the Torah."
2) Rav Menachem Eckstein, Tanai HaNefesh leHasagat HaChasiddut, p.86: "All that we have written is included in three short statements of the Besht; 1. One must always contemplate the greatness of the Creator and the insignificance of himself. 2. One must cause his intellect to rule over his physicality. 3. One must achieve purity of thought and holiness in character traits."
3) Rav Kolonymos Kalmish Shapira, Bnai Machshava Tova, p.43-44: "This is the way of the chasid, he occasionally cries during a happy tune, and while dancing, and he sometimes dances to the tune of 'Kol Nidrei'."
4) Rav K. K. Shapira, Mavo HaShaarim, p.18b: "The drawing down (of spiritual light) until then, was only into the vessels. But the drawing down of the Besht and his disciples was new, drawing even into the walls of the vessels themselves, so that they also were transformed into light. However, they were not actually transformed, rather their light was revealed."
5) Rav K. K. Shapira, Chovat HaTalmidim, p.21: "The essence of the Torah of Chassidut is not to be satisfied with having one's intellect absorbed in divine service...he must rather serve haShem with all aspects of his thought, speech, and action."
6) Rav K. K. Shapira, Chovat HaTalmidim, p.24: "This is the basis of Chassidut, that one become animated and excited. Starting with his lowly aspects and physical emotions that he should arouse himself to holiness."
7) Rav K. K. Shapira, Derech HaMelech, p.166: "The essence of Chassidut is not to fulfill the Torah and the mitzvot only with the body. Nor to pray only with the mouth, or even with thought, but rather with the soul, with love and excitement....Only then can he reveal and elevate (his soul), and become a chasid."
8) Rav Shalom Noach Brazavski, Netivot Shalom, vol.1, p.296: "The Ari spoke of matters pertaining to the upper worlds and the holy Sefirot. The Besht added explanations showing how it all pertains also to the divine service of the Jew in the lower world, since man was created in the image of the Divine."
9) Rav Shalom Noach Brazavski, Kovetz Sichot LaMishmeret HaRishona,p.26: "In order to be a chasid, you first have to know what Chassidut is....A chasid is one for whom the way of 'Is it pleasing in the sight of God', is the guiding principle."