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Section: People   Category: Misc.
TAGS:Noam Elimelech  Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk  Tzetil Katan
The Legacy Of Reb Elimelech Of Lizhensk - The Tzetil Katan & Its 17 Clauses
One of the legacies of the great tzaddik and one of the original leaders of all chasidim, the Rebbe R' Elimelech of Lizhensk, is his "Tzetil Katan", literally small note, the 17 point program of how to be a good Jew.  While some things are beyond our level, reading the tzetil katan opens up new vistas in the holiness Reb Elimelech expected to people to reach.  Moreover there are some very helpful things in it that can help us overcome some of the more irritating obstacles we face on a consistent basis.

The tzetil katan contains 17 clauses that are briefly highlighted below to give a sampling of what it contains.  It is recommended that you read it in its entirety as Reb Elimelech himself placed great importance on reading it word for word.  It can be found in many siddurim and is worth going through at east once.

1.  Any moment of your existence that you spend idle from learning, you should imagine that there is a great fire before you and you are jumping into it to be Mikayem the Mitzva of "V'Nikdashti B'soch Bnei Yisroel", the mitzva of Kiddush Hashem.

2.  During the first pasuk of Shema and first bracha of Shmoneh Esrei you should do the same as above.  Additionally you should have in mind that any torture that someone may do to you such as skinning you alive, you will never deny the oneness of Hashem.  You should picture this scene.

3.  While enjoying any material pleasure such as eating or marital relations you should say to yourself that no pleasure is as great as giving your body and life for Kiddush Hashem and that you would be prepared to do so even during this moment of pleasure.  You should really mean this and not just say it.

4.  When performing any mitzva you should say that you are doing it to give pleasure to Hashem.  Say it with feeling and with the passage of time you will get a great lift from this.

5.  When you are overcome by a bad mida like stuborness, haughtiness, laziness, etc. you should say with all your might the pasuk, "HaKena'ani, HaChiti, HaEmori, HaPrizi, HaChivi, V'HaYevusi, V'HaGirgashi" and you will be saved.  Do not look out of your 4 amos, especially in Shul, while learning, or when outside.  When you pass a women, even you wife or small children, picture before the name of Hashem.

6.  When you have thoughts of adultery say a number of time the pasuk, "V'Nishmarta MiKol Davar Ra".  Think if the drasha of Chazal that say we learn from this pasuk not to have bad thoughts.  Cast them out and do not let these thoughts contaminate your mind.

7.  When you see creatures mating or an imodestly dressed woman or your wife who is a Nidah immediately say the pasuk, "V'Lo Sasuru Acharei Livavchem".

8.  Train yourself to only speak matter of great importance and even then speak in as few words as possible.  Make sure it does not contain any forbidden speech such as lies, flattery, lashon hara, and embarrassment.  Train yourself to respond, "I don't know".  Avoid at all cost any or limit conversation with people who speak forbidden things.

9.  As soon as you wake up say Modeh Ani and then thank Hashem with a happy heart for the mitzva of tzitzis to surround you and netilas yadayim to cleanse you.  Accept upon yourself not to speak only as in #8 above.

10.  Learn right when arise and say Tikun Chatzos and the tzetil katan.  He also perscribes how to learn and some additional tefilos to say.

11.  Daven with all your might and in a voice that connects your thoughts with your words.  You should look in your siddur from beginning to end and not look to the sides.  Pay careful to Chazaras HaShatz from a Siddur.  Listen to every word of Krias HaTorah.  Act like a mute Shul even before and after davening.

12.  Always imagine, especially when reading the Tzetil katan that someone is standing beside you and is encouraging you in a mighty voice to follow all these details to perfection.  In due time you will be greatly inspired by his Neshama which is alight with fire.

13.  Always tell your guidance counselor or friend any bad thought that you have which goes against the torah, during davening or learning, be it by day or night.  By verbalizing it you will break the Yetzer Hara.  Additionally you will benefit from the practical advice your friend may offer.

14.  Make sure to constantly review the tzetil katan within a 24 hour period and explain each word in your mother tongue.  He also offers other things to say at other times from the Arizal.

15.  Say Rabbeinu Yonah's tefila before Netilas Yadayim.  After eating HaMotzi he gives a tefila to say which essentially says that the eating is not for personal pleasure but to strengthen the body for Avodas Hashem.  The word Ma'achal or food is gematria for two names of Hashem together.  He also says one must expel the remains of the food from his body without even a moment of delay.

16.  At age 18 one must break his bad character with 40 days of completely opposite and unnatural behavior.  He gives examples.

17.  When a person is idle from Torah or Tefila he should use the time to train themselves to learn by heart numerous essential tefilos including Tikun Chatzos, Brich Shmei, Modim D'Rabanan and others.  Also one should think of the Mitzva of Kiddush Hashem as in #1.

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