294. Come and behold: it is written of YISRAEL, "And the children of Yisrael stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb" (Shemot 33:5). They were stripped of the ornaments that they received at Mount Sinai, the ornaments intended to prevent the wicked serpent from controlling them. When their ornaments were taken away, it is written: "And Moses took the Tent, and pitched it outside the camp, afar off from the camp" (Ibid. 7).
295. Rabbi Elazar asks: What connection is there between this verse and THE STRIPPING OF THE ORNAMENTS? AND HE ANSWERS: Because Moses knew that supernal protection was stripped from them, WHEN THEY TOOK OFF THEIR ORNAMENTS, it was clear that from now on the wicked serpent would reside among them. If the Temple was erected there, it would be defiled. Immediately then, "And Moses took the Tent, and pitch it outside the camp, afar off from the camp," because he saw that the wicked serpent would control them, unlike before.
296. "And he called it the Tent of Meeting (Heb. moed)" (Ibid.). HE ASKS: Was it not called the Tent of Meeting before? AND HE ANSWERS: Before then, it was called only a tent, but now it was called it the Tent of Meeting. What is the meaning of moed (appointment)? Rabbi Elazar said: For MERIT AND good. Rabbi Aba said: For DISCREDIT AND evil. Rabbi Elazar explains that it was for good, because moed means a festive day, which is the happiness of the moon, WHICH IS THE SHECHINAH. Because of the Shechinah's added sanctity, no defects mar Her ON THAT DAY. Hence, he called THE SHECHINAH by the name MOED, to show that the Tent, WHICH ALLUDES TO THE SHECHINAH, had alienated Herself from them at the time OF THE SIN OF THE CALF, and thus was not made defective. Hence it was written: "...and he called it the Tent of Meeting."
297. Rabbi Aba said: IT WAS CALLED MOED SO AS to show unworthiness. AFTER THE GIVING OF TORAH, THE SHECHINAH was a mere tent, as it is written: "a tent that shall not be taken down; its pegs shall not be removed for ever" (Yeshayah 33:20), AND IT WAS CONTINUOUSLY ILLUMINATED. But now, AFTER THE SIN OF THE GOLDEN CALF, it was called the Tent of Meeting, BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY ILLUMINATED FROM TIME TO TIME. Before, it gave long life to the world, and death was powerless. AFTER THE GIVING OF TORAH, THERE WAS FREEDOM FROM THE ANGEL OF DEATH. But, after THE SIN OF THE CALF, THE SHECHINAH became the Tent of Meeting (also: 'appointment'), as it is written: "the house appointed (Heb. moed) to all living" (Iyov 30:23). Now it is governed by time, and life is limited in the world. Earlier, BEFORE THE SIN OF THE CALF, THE TENT was not faulty, but now it was rendered defective BY THE SIN OF THE CALF. Before, that mating between the sun and the moon - BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE - was continuous. Now it is the Tent of Meeting, because their mating is only periodic, SINCE IT CEASES WHEN THE SERPENT COMES CLOSE. Hence, it was now called the Tent of Meeting, WHICH MEANS THAT UNION OCCURRED ONLY PERIODICALLY.
298. Rabbi Shimon stayed up one night and was busy with Torah. Before him sat Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yosi. Rabbi Yehuda said: It is written: "And the children of Yisrael stripped themselves of ornaments from Mount Horeb" and we explained that, in so doing, they brought death upon themselves and all future generations. And the serpent governed them, although they had earlier removed it from their midst, AS IT WAS SAID THAT THEY HAD FREEDOM FROM THE ANGEL OF DEATH. HE THEN ASKS: This applies to Yisrael, because they sinned, but what about Joshua who did not sin? HE ASKS: Did he also separate from that supernal ornament that he had received with Yisrael on Mount Sinai, or not?
299. If it was not taken away from him, then why did he die like any other man? And if it was taken away from him, then why? He did not sin, having been with Moses at the time that Yisrael sinned. And if you say that JOSHUA was not crowned at Mount Sinai with the rest of Yisrael, then why? WHY WAS JOSHUA DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF YISRAEL?
300. He said, "For Hashem is righteous and loves righteousness, and the upright behold His face" (Tehilim 11:7). And the friends have commented on this verse that Hashem, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, is righteous, and His name, NAMELY THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, is righteous. For that reason He loves righteousness, THAT IS, HE LOVES THE UNION OF THE RIGHTEOUS (HEB. TZADIK) AND RIGHTEOUSNESS (HEB. TZEDEK) TO BESTOW CHARITY (HEB. TZEDAKAH).
301. He is also upright as is said, "righteous and upright." Thus, all the people of the world "behold His face," BLESSED BE HE, improving their ways and following the right path. FOR EVENTUALLY ALL THE WORLD WILL FOLLOW THAT PATH ANYWAY. Come and see: ACCORDING TO THIS, when the Holy One, blessed be He, judges the world, He does so according to the majority of people.
302. Come and behold: When Adam sinned by eating of the tree, he brought death to the whole world. He caused a defect that separated a woman from her husband, NAMELY THE NUKVA FROM ZEIR ANPIN. This sin, or defect, was imprinted upon the moon, WHICH IS THE NUKVA, until the time when Yisrael stood at Mount Sinai. When they were at Mount Sinai, the defect was wiped out from the moon, which was enabled to shine forever. THAT IS, AFTER THE DEFECT OF THE SIN OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE WAS REMOVED, SHE RETURNED TO MATE WITH ZEIR ANPIN IN A NEVERENDING UNION. THUS, SHE FOREVER SHINES WITHOUT DIMINUTION AND THEY OBTAINED THE SECRET OF FREEDOM FROM THE ANGEL OF DEATH AT THAT TIME.
303. When Yisrael sinned with the calf, the moon became defective as it was before THE GIVING OF THE TORAH. The evil serpent regained control over her, held her, and drew her to him. When Moses realized that Yisrael had sinned and that the holy supernal ornaments had been taken away from them, he knew with certainty that the serpent had control over the moon, WHICH IS THE NUKVA. He knew that it was drawing her to it and that she was becoming defective. That is when he isolated her. THAT IS WHAT IS MEANT BY, "AND MOSES TOOK THE TENT, AND PITCH IT OUTSIDE THE CAMP." THE TENT IS THE SHECHINAH, AS MENTIONED ABOVE.