Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 1: Who would dare extract it from the heart of the masses and scrutinize their ways, when their attainment is incomplete in both parts of the Torah called Peshat (literal) and Drush (interpretation)? In their view, the order of the four parts of the Torah (PARDESS) begins with the Peshat, then the Drush, then Remez (insinuated), and in the end the Sod (secret) is understood.
However, it is written in the Vilna Gaon prayer book that the attainment begins with the Sod…”
In fact, nothing is as simple as it seems. Attainment of Torah is divided into four parts and even they are arranged in an opposite order in comparison to what is accepted by the common folk. People think that they are learning Peshat while, in fact, the Torah is hidden from them and at best is conveyed in the form of Sod.
Vilna Gaon writes that we begin learning from Sod since in the beginning we don’t yet know anything. The Torah describes the arrangement of the worlds; their management by the Creator is intended to reveal the Creator to the creatures. This is, in essence, the goal of Torah, and to do this is possible only through correction of the creature to the condition of “and you shall love your friend as yourself.”
The Torah was given as a means for spiritual realization and its learning is practical, and in this way, the person goes along according to the order of the levels of Sod, Drush, Remez, Peshat.
In other words, first I grasp only a few small hints from the great secret, the darkness that envelops me and prevents me from understanding anything.
Then, the first thread connects me with the Light, with the Creator, with the higher management, and then I begin to understand and to feel a little.
That is how development passes through four stages with four levels of Aviut, and as long as we haven’t absorbed them, this is not called that we have acquired and understood the Torah, for the Torah clothes the Creator and through it the person corrects himself. In that, he turned around the corrected vessel by the Light. He needs to dedicate his entire life to this process. For this, he lives here in this life, and only in this way does he continue in the right direction, the way of the four levels of attaining the system which includes the vessel and the Light.
People think they are learning Peshat even though they remain in the “superficiality” of the text and prefer to understand it “as it is” and not go into it deeper. However, in fact, everything is the opposite for through this approach a person doesn’t understand anything of what is written and the truth is hidden from him.
Peshat symbolizes the removal of the “clothing” from the Torah, from the system of worlds, when I discover them completely. Their uncovering means the removal of the Masachim, the clothing, and the concealments.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/5/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam