The Opposition to the Study of the Wisdom of Kabbalah
Woe unto people from the affront of the Torah. For undoubtedly, when they engage only in the literal and in its stories, it wears its widow-garments, and is covered with a bag. And all the nations shall say unto Israel: “What is thy Beloved more than another beloved? Why is your law more than our law? After all, your law, too, is stories of the mundane.” There is no greater affront to the Torah than that.
Hence, woe unto the people from the affront of the Torah. They do not engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah, which honors the Torah, for they prolong the exile and all the afflictions that are about to come to the world.
– Rav Chaim Vital, The Writings of the Ari, The Tree of Life, Part One, “Rav Chaim Vital’s Introduction,” 11-12