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?
113. If you say that THE ORNAMENT was not removed from him, then why did he die like other people? BECAUSE THROUGH THE ORNAMENT THEY ACHIEVED FREEDOM FROM THE ANGEL OF DEATH, AS MENTIONED. And if you say that THE ORNAMENT was removed from him, HE ASKS, why THEN WAS IT REMOVED FROM HIM? For he did not sin, because he was with Moses at the time that Yisrael sinned. And if you say that he did not receive that crown, NAMELY THE ORNAMENT at Mount Sinai, as Yisrael did, HE ASKS why not?
114. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion, and said: "For Hashem is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright shall behold His face" (Tehilim 11:7). Concerning this passage, the friends said what they had to say. Yet, "For Hashem is righteous," MEANS that He is righteous and His Name is righteous. Consequently, "He loves righteousness," MEANING MALCHUT, WHOSE NAME IS RIGHTEOUSNESS. "The upright"; He is upright, as it is written: "Just and right is He" (Devarim 32:4). Therefore, all the people of the world "shall behold His face...", and mend their ways, and proceed on the straight path as they should.
115. Come and behold: when the Holy One, blessed be He, judges the world, He judges it according to the majority of people. Come and behold: when Adam sinned with the tree from which he ate, he caused that tree, WHICH IS MALCHUT, to become the dwelling place of Death for the whole world, and caused a blemish that separates a wife from her husband, NAMELY THE SEPARATION OF MALCHUT FROM ZEIR ANPIN. And this sin remained in the moon, WHICH IS MALCHUT, until the children of Yisrael stood at Mount Sinai. When the children of Yisrael stood at Mount Sinai, that blemish of the moon was removed, MEANING THE BLEMISH OF SEPARATION AND DEATH THROUGH THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL and it shone constantly, WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. But when the children of Yisrael sinned with the calf, the moon again became blemished as before. The Evil Serpent ruled and held to it and drew it to him, and it became blemished.
116. When Moses learned that the children of Yisrael sinned and that the holy ornaments were removed from them, he knew for certain that the Serpent was attached to the moon to attract it to him. And it became defective, BECAUSE WHEN THE SERPENT WISHES TO NOURISH FROM MALCHUT, THE LIGHT DEPARTS FROM HER SO THAT HE HAS NOTHING TO SUSTAIN HIM. Then he took it outside of the camp. And since it was blemished, even though Joshua retained the crown of his ornament, since a blemish dwelt in it, IN MALCHUT, and it again had the blemish it had through the sin of Adam, no man can survive except Moses, who ruled over MALCHUT. FOR HE WAS IN THE SECRET OF THE HUSBAND OF THE QUEEN, and his death was from a different direction, NAMELY "ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF HASHEM" (DEVARIM 34:5). Therefore, MALCHUT did not have permission to keep Joshua alive forever, SO THAT HE WOULD NOT DIE, nor any other person. Therefore he called it 'the Tent of appointed time', because a designated time OF LIFE dwells in it for the whole world.
117. Therefore, the secret of the matter is that there is right above and right below. There is left above and left below. HE EXPLAINS, there is right above, namely in supernal Holiness, and there is right below, which is in the Other Side. There is left above, meaning in supernal Holiness, to awaken love, so that the moon, WHICH IS MALCHUT, shall be connected to the holy place above, IN ZEIR ANPIN, in order to illuminate.
118. And there is left below, that separates the supernal love and separates Her, MALCHUT, from illuminating through the sun and from getting close to it. This is the side of the Evil Serpent, because when the lower left is awakened, it draws the moon to itself, and separates it from above, FROM ZEIR ANPIN, so its light becomes darkened, and it is attached to the Serpent. Then it draws death below, to all those that became attached to the Serpent and became distanced from the Tree of Life. Therefore, he brought death to the whole world, THROUGH THE SIN OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. And this is what defiled the Temple, WHICH IS MALCHUT, until the set time when the moon will be mended and shine again. And this is WHY IT IS CALLED 'the Tent of appointed time'.
119. Therefore Joshua died only because of the scheme of the Serpent who approached and blemished the Tabernacle, WHICH IS MALCHUT, as before. This is the secret of the words, "Joshua the son of Nun, a young man..." (Shemot 33:11). Even though he is a young man below, MEANING HE IS CONSIDERED AS METATRON THAT IS CALLED 'YOUTH', who receives light FROM MALCHUT, he "did not depart out of the Tent" (Ibid.), WHICH MEANS THAT HE IS LIKE THE TENT, WHICH IS MALCHUT. And just as THE TENT was blemished, so was he, JOSHUA, blemished. And although he had the holy ornament FROM MOUNT SINAI, since the moon was blemished, surely he could not have been alone spared from it and from that actual blemish. And we have learned it.
120. Blessed are the righteous, who know the secrets of the Torah, cleave to the Torah, and fulfill the passage which says, "And you shall meditate therein day and night" (Yehoshua 1:8). And for its sake they shall merit the life of the World to Come, as it is written: "for He is your life and the length of your days" (Devarim 30:20).