In Likutei Moharan II: 44, Rebbe Nachman cautions us not to be overly stringent in any observance. Our Rebbe quotes the Talmudic maxims, “G-d does not rule over His creatures with tyranny” (Avodah Zarah 3a), and, “The Torah was not given to the ministering angels” (Berakhot 25b).
The Rebbe also says, “Keep one commandment strictly, but others need not be observed with any unnecessary stringency at all.”
When the Rebbe spoke about this, he continued, “True devotion consists mainly of simplicity and sincerity. Pray much, study much Torah, do many good deeds. Do not worry yourself with unnecessary restrictions. Just follow the way of our forefathers. ‘The Torah was not given to the ministering angels.'”
Our Rebbe spoke at length along these lines, concluding, “There is nothing that you absolutely must do, and if not… If you can, fine, but if not, ‘G-d exempts a person under duress.’” (Bava Kama 28b)
Adapted from Sichot HaRan #235