Jewish Mysticism
Even though we have alluded to the hidden matters, the verses should not lose their literal sense. Insofar as there is nothing compelling us to believe that this is an allegory and should not be [understood] according to its literal sense in any manner, we should initially believe the literal sense as it is. . . . Afterwards it should be interpreted as much as it can withstand according to the hidden way, for all that which is interpreted according to what is hidden instructs about a deeper wisdom and is more beneficial to a person than the exoteric teaching. The exoteric is written to benefit the masses who have no analytic skill to distinguish between truth and falsehood, but this will not benefit the knowledgeable person who seeks felicity unique to the rational faculty.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in- “Beautiful Maiden Without Eyes- Peshat and Sod in Zoharic Hermeneutics.” In The Midrashic imagination – Jewish exegesis, thought, and history. Edited by Michael Fishbane, Albany – State University of New York Press, 1993, pp. 155-203.