Rabbi Shimon says: Woe to the man who says that the Torah came simply to relate stories and tales of mundane matters. If it was so, even at the present day we could produce a Torah from simplistic matters, and perhaps even nicer ones than those. If it came to illustrate worldly matters, even the rulers of the world have among them things that are superior. If so, let us follow them and produce from them a Torah in the same manner. However, all matters in the Torah are of a superior nature and are uppermost secrets.

Come and see: the world Above and the world below are measured with one scale. The children of Israel below are opposite the lofty angels above. It is written about the lofty angels: "Who makes the winds His messengers." (Psalms 104:4) When they descend downwards, they are donned with the [physical] vestments of this world [for they have no physical bodies of their own]. If they had not acquired the dress for this world, they would not be able to exist in this world, and the world would not be able to stand them. And if this is so for the angels, how much more so is it for the Torah that created these and all the worlds, that exist due to her. Once it was brought down to this world, if it had not donned all these covering garments of this world, the world would not have been able to tolerate it.

Therefore, this story of the Torah is the mantle of the Torah. He who thinks that this mantle is the actual essence of the Torah and that nothing else is in there, let his spirit deflate and let him have no part in the World to Come. Therefore, David said, "open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Torah," (Psalms 119:18) what lies under that garment of the Torah.

Come and see: There is a garment that is visible to everyone. The simple people, when they see a person dressed beautifully do not observe any further, and they consider the garment as the body [of a man] and the body like his soul.

Similar to this is the Torah. It has a body, which is composed of the commandments of the Torah that are called the 'body of the Torah'. This body is clothed with garments, which are stories of this world. The ignorant of the world look only at that dress, which is the story in the Torah, and are not aware of anything more. They do not look at what lies beneath that dress. Those who know more do not look at the dress, but rather at the body beneath that dress. The wise, the sages, the servants of the loftiest King, those that stood at Mount Sinai, look only at the soul which is the essence of everything, the real Torah. In the world to come, they are destined to look at the soul, the soul of the Torah.

Woe to those wicked who say that the Torah is merely a story and nothing more, for they look at the dress and no further. Praised are the righteous who look properly at the Torah. Wine lasts only if it is in a jug. Similarly, the Torah does not endure, except in this mantle. Therefore, there is no need to look except at what is beneath the mantle. That is why all these matters and all these stories are garments.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does the above mean to you and why is it revealed now?

The above Zohar is one that should be reviewed over and over again. Don't judge a book [of Torah] by its cover [of simple understanding].

A garment is essential to protect a body from outside elements. But it is not the essence. Too, in matters of modesty and in the interest of privacy, we only reveal the more secret layers to those who are closest to us.

The popular saying "clothing makes the man" has a superficial truth, but really not more. For one's garments are mere additions to one's true inner essence.

So is the relationship of the inner Torah to those who seek Her, for after all, She is a Tree of Life to those who attach to her.

Dig deep behind the peshat/simple level of the Torah and we find the remez/hints. Deeper we find the derash/allegorical meanings. Even deeper is the sod/secrets. There are worlds upon worlds of revelations awaiting us.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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