106. Similarly, before the children of Yisrael sinned, at the time that they stood at Mount Sinai, the filth of the Serpent was removed from them, because the Evil Inclination was made void in the world. And they pushed it away from them. They then were united with the Tree of Life, rose up to the highest levels, and did not go down. Then they knew and saw supernal visions OF ZEIR ANPIN; their eyes shone, and they rejoiced to know and hear. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, girded them with belts of the letters of the Holy Name, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF "THEIR ORNAMENTS BY THE MOUNT HOREB" (Shemot 33:6), so that the Serpent would not be able to have power over them or defile them again AS IN EGYPT.
109. Come and behold: it is written of them, "And the children of Yisrael stripped themselves of their ornaments by the Mount Horeb" (Shemot 33:6). For the armor they received at Mount Horeb was removed from them so that the Evil Serpent could not have power over them. Once it was removed from them, it is written: "And Moses would take the Tent, and pitch it outside the camp, afar off from the camp" (Ibid. 7). Rabbi Elazar said: What has this passage, "AND THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL STRIPPED..." to do with that passage, "AND MOSES WOULD TAKE..."? HE ANSWERS: When Moses knew that the supernal armor was removed from the children of Yisrael, he said: Surely from now on the Evil Serpent will come to dwell among them, and if the Temple, NAMELY, THE TENT OF MEETING, would stand here among them, it will become defiled. Immediately, "Moses would take the Tent and pitch it outside the camp, afar off from the camp," because Moses foresaw that the Evil Serpent would have power over them, unlike what was before.
112. Rabbi Shimon was sitting one night studying the Torah. Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yosi were sitting in front of him. Said Rabbi Yehuda: It is written: "And the children of Yisrael stripped themselves of their ornaments by the Mount Horeb" (Shemot 33:6). And we said that they brought death upon themselves from that time on, and the Evil Serpent ruled over them, after they had removed him from before. HE ASKS: Yisrael deserved it; but what of Joshua, who did not sin with the calf? HE ASKS: was the supernal armor, that is, the ornament, which he received together with the others at Mount Sinai, removed from him or not?