Let My People Know

"A common view about mysticism and Kabbalah"

Customarily, we speak of the different ways of dealing with Torah, from the explicit to the implicit, from peshat (literal meaning) to derash (exegesis), to remez (hint), to sod (secret or esoteric truth).

All these simply address the same words of Scripture in four different languages, all of which have the same meaning.

One of the methods of study is to gain an understanding of the way these languages change from one form of expression to another, how they change from saying something in poetic terms to those of a story, a commandment, and a kabbalistic idea.

Consequently, the common view about mysticism and Kabbalah being a different world from the Talmud is a misconception of the organic unity of the whole.

The Kabbalah and the Talmud are different forms of expression, each following its own point of departure.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz


From "Mysticism in the Jewish Tradition" in On Being Free by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz