4

The Noam Elimelech writes in the Tzeitel Katan (5) the following:

(Source from Sefaria.org)

(Partial Quote)

כשיתחיל להתעורר בו מידה רעה ח"ו ממידות רעות שהוא רגיל בהם, כגון עקשנות ובושת של גאוה ועצלות ובטלה המביאה לידי שיעמום וכיוצא בהם, יאמר תיכף ומיד בזה הלשון ובכל כחו: "הכנעני החתי האמורי הפריזי החיוי והיבוסי והגרגשי" וינצל

When one begins to feel temptation from one of his bad traits which he is accustomed to, for example: stubbornness, haughtiness, laziness, idleness that bring one to foolishness and the like, he should say the following verse with all his might: "The Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Prizite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite," and he will be saved

My Question

Where does the Noam Elimelech get this idea from?

  • I haven't found any earlier sources that say anything remotely like this. Perhaps he came up with it? – רבות מחשבות Jun 10 '18 at 17:55
  • @רבותמחשבות could be, but I'm sure he got the inspiration from somewhere else – TrustMeI'mARabbi Jun 10 '18 at 18:37
5

Here is a page from a fairly recently published translation of the Tzetel Katan that has accompanying elucidations as well as prayers and exercises. While this doesn't point to a source per se for the Noam Elimelech's advice, it does shed some light on this method of clearing one's thoughts.

HaCana'ani, HaChiti

"You should immediately say, with all of your might: "HaCana'ani, HaChiti..."

Perhaps the reason for this is as the Bnei Yisaschar writes (Mamarei Chodshei Kislev-Teves, mamar 4, Hallel v'Hodaah, in the name of the Seer of Lublin), that the seven nations conquered by Yisroel are the seven sefiros of the Sitra Achra, the Side of Evil (corresponding to the seven sefiros of holiness), in the following order: HaCana'ani - Chesed; HaChiti - Gevurah; HaEmori - Tiferes; HaPrizi - Netzach; HaChivi - Hod; HaYivusi - Yesod; HaGirgoshi - Malchus.

WE CAN FURTHER EXPLAIN THIS, AS FOLLOWS:

  • Cana'ani is related to the word hachna'ah - "humility". However, this is a sort of meekness that originates from the forces of evil (kelipos). It is opposite the ideal state, in which a person's heart is "lifted up in the way of God" (Divrei HaYamim 17:6).

  • Chiti, from the word chet - "fear" (חת). This causes a person to constantly fear that his repentance is not effective.

  • Emori, from the word emor - "speak". This force does not stop speaking to a person for a minute, trying to subtly entice him and trap him in various types of sin.

  • Prizi, from the word "unwalled" (as in "unwalled cities" - ערי הפרזות). This relates to the trait of watonness; that is, when a person does not seek to be bound to his Creator, but imagines that he do whatever he desires.

  • Chivi, from the Aramaic word for "snake" (חיוא). It schemes like the primordial Serpent, first trying to seduce a person to sin. Then it bites him repeatedly [with negative feelings of guilt and remorse].

  • Yivusi, from the word "to trample" (as in Tehillim 60:14). It seeks to trample and annihilate a person from this world and the next.

  • Girgoshi, from the word girushin - "divorce." It constantly floods a person's mind with foreign thoughts in order to break his connection to God and prayer. In addition, when a person is in the middle of doing a mitzvah, it suddenly wants to kill him, and applies various schemes and evil thoughts to prevent him from completing his deed.

These are the forces of impurity that a person must be wary of. (Madanei Melech on Tzetel Katan, 5)

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