82. The old sage opened the discussion, saying: "And in the wilderness, where you have seen how that Hashem your Elohim bore you, as a man bears his son..." (Devarim 1:31). This passage should have said, 'And in the wilderness, where He bore you'. Why does it say, "where you have seen"? HE ANSWERS: The Holy One, blessed be He, spoke to Yisrael in the wilderness, a potent wilderness, as is written: "venomous serpents, and scorpions..." (Devarim 8:15). This wilderness is more potent than any wilderness in the world. What is the reason THAT HE LED YISRAEL THERE?
83. HE ANSWERS: When the children of Yisrael left Egypt and reached the number of 600,000, the Holy Malchut was strengthened and rose above everything, and the moon, THAT IS MALCHUT, shone. Then the Evil Malchut, the Other Side, was subdued and the Holy One, blessed be He, took YISRAEL into the powerful wilderness, which is the place and the domain of evil Samael, his very own, in order to break his power and strength, crush his head and subdue him, so he will have no power. If the children of Yisrael had not sinned, the Holy One, blessed be He, planned to remove him from the world. Therefore, He caused YISRAEL to actually pass through his inheritance, lot, and portion.
84. Since they sinned many times, the snake bit them, and then was fulfilled: "He will bruise your head" (Beresheet 3:15). That is, the children of Yisrael hit his head first, but did not know how to guard themselves from him. Afterward, the snake bit them, and they all fell in the wilderness, and, "And you shall bruise his heel" (Ibid.), was fulfilled. For forty years were they smitten by him, corresponding to the forty lashes decreed by court of law.
85. Therefore, it is written: "where you have seen," because they saw with their own eyes the landlord of the wilderness walking, bound, before them, and they took his possession and lot. Whence do we know this? From the verse: "Then the chiefs of Edom shall be amazed" (Shemot 15:15), who are the venomous serpents and scorpions. We too retired from civilization to go into the potent wilderness to be occupied there with Torah, in order to subdue that side.
86. The words of Torah become clear only there and the only light is that which comes out of the darkness. When this side is subdued, the Holy One, blessed be He, rises, and His glory becomes greater. There is no service of the Holy One, blessed be He, except from out of darkness and no good except from out of evil. When a person enters the evil way and then leaves it, the Holy One, blessed be He, rises in His glory. Therefore, overall perfection is good and evil together and rising to the good afterward. The only good is good that emerges from evil, and through this good the glory OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, is elevated. This is perfect service.
87. We have dwelt there throughout the year until now in order to subdue that Side in the wilderness. Now that the time for the holy service of the side of Holiness has come, we return to civilization, for the service OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, is there. And also, now, during Rosh Hashanah, the time has arrived for that serpent to request Judgment before the Holy One, blessed be He. He rules there in the wilderness. Therefore, we left it and came to civilization.