22X30 Monotype, water color and chin-collé of Talmud pages
Pardes ( orchard) is the subject of a Jewish aggadah ("legend") about four rabbis of the Mishnaic period who visited the Orchard (some say, Paradise). The original text appears in the Babylonian Talmud tractate Chagiga 14b (as well as in the Jerusalem Talmud). This text is regarded by many as a mystical text.
"Four men entered pardes - Ben Azzai , Ben Zoma, Acher, and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace.
Pardes in Hebrew forms an acronym that is an allegory for the four layers of learning, or the four different approaches to Biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism or, simpler, interpretation of text in Torah study.
Peshat - "plain" ("simple") or the direct meaning
Remez- "hints" or the deep (allegoric) meaning beyond just the literal sense
Derash from Hebrew darash: "inquire" ("seek") - the comparative midrashic meaning, as given through similar occurrences
Sod (pronounced with a long O as in gold) - "secret" ("mystery") or the mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation
© Igaël Gurin-Malous - Express permission required for use of my artwork in any media.