PARDES (Heb. פַּרְדֵ״ס), in the Middle Ages the word pardes was used as a mnemonic for the four types of biblical exegesis, an acronym of *peshat ("the literal meaning"), remez ("hint," i.e., veiled allusions such as *gematria, and *notarikon), *derash ("homiletical interpretation"), and sod ("mystery," i.e., the esoteric interpretation), the word being made up of the initial letters of these words. For the meaning of the word in mysticism, see *Kabbalah.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.