"Born With The Inclination To Be Totally Wicked"
Excerpt from Degel Machaneh Ephraim:
"And when Moshe heard it, he fell upon his face." (Bamidbar 16:4)
What did he hear? Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonatan, he heard that they suspected him of adultery.
I heard from my grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, an explanation of the Talmud's statement: "Your rabbi, Moshe, was either a thief or a swindler," and of the verse: "And it came to pass, when Moshe went out to the Tent, that all the people rose up and stood, every man at his tent door, and looked after Moshe." (Shemos 33:8) And especially, that they suspected him of adultery.
He explained it as follows. Moshe was born with the inclination to be totally wicked, with every possible vice. However, he transformed and broke all of these bad character traits, and worked to acquire only good ones.
This is all that the Baal Shem Tov said, yet his holy words can be explained as follows. It is known from the mystical intentions of the incense offering that the letters mem (מ) hey (ה) shin (ש) , when spelled out in full (מ-מ ה-א ש-'-ן) , have the numerical value of "death" (מות). But when they are rectified they become "the truth"
(האמת) - Moshe [משה] embodied both aspects - goodness, which is the truth, and complete evil, which is death. However, the people did not grasp or perceive the truth. They saw only his aspect of evil; that is, the letter combination alluded to in his name that spelled out death. This is why "they looked after Moshe." They looked only at the aspect of his back, and thus they suspected him of adultery, for he was indeed born with all the worse character traits.
Translation by Baal Shem Tov.com