Keep our emotions in check


This is a hard one to explain. G-d gave Moshe specific instructions on what nations we could and couldn’t attack. “Moses then reminded the Jewish people that when it was time to prepare to conquer the Land of Israel, G‑d specified exactly which nations they were allowed to attack and which they were not.”

This is due to the fact that we must learn to dig in and refine our emotions first. Feelings are not facts they just are. The hardest thing for me is to keep my emotions in check and not react when they are screaming at me to do or say something I know I will regret.

My dad always told use my head for something besides a hat rack. I must learn to think first and then act not react.

G‑d instructed Moses,] “Take great care that you not provoke [Edom], for I will not give you any of their land.” Deuteronomy 2:4-5

The Rebbe explains: “Spiritually, the seven Canaanite nations correspond to the seven emotions, while the nations of Edom, Ammon, and Moab – located adjacent to but outside of Canaan – correspond to the three facets of the intellect. The fact that G‑d instructed us to conquer the seven Canaanite nations but forbade us to conquer the other three until the Messianic future means that, until then, we can only fully refine our emotions, but not our intellect.

This is because the way to rectify something is by correcting its source. Since our emotions are generally governed by our intellect, we can use our intellect to “teach” ourselves what to love and hate.

Presently, however, no such avenue exists for us to influence our intellect. The intellect is governed by deeply hidden aspects of our personalities that lay beyond the reach of consciousness, and the tools to harness this aspect of ourselves have not yet become completely available to us.

Nonetheless, as we approach the Messianic Era and the light of the future begins to shine, we can “taste” the future through studying the teachings of Chasidism in depth. These teachings tap the higher aspects of our souls; through studying them, we can indeed begin to rectify our intellect as well as our emotions.1 1.

Ma’amarei Admor HaEmtza’i, Devarim, vol. 1, p. 1 ff; Sefer HaSichot 5750, vol. 2, pp. 547–548; Sefer HaMa’amarim 5741, pp.86–90.