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.
A Taste of the Future
אַל תִּתְגָּרוּ בָם כִּי לֹא אֶתֵּן לָכֶם מֵאַרְצָם עַד מִדְרַךְ כַּף רָגֶל וגו': (דברים ב:ד–ה)
[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

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