Workers of the Creator Who Make the Torah Arid
But if a person from Israel degrades the virtue of Kabbalah, which deals with the correction of our souls, relative to the mechanical fulfillment of religious rituals, …he humiliates and disgraces the Children of Israel and strengthens the destructors of the world in the nations of the world, who will regard Israel as superfluous, as though the world has no need for them, God forbid.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 69
I met with the most renowned Kabbalists of Jerusalem, people who have already worn out their years delving in the writings of the Ari and The Zohar and knew them virtually by heart…. I asked them if they had studied with a Teacher who attained the inner essence of the texts. They answered: “Heavens, no! There is no internality here whatsoever, but accurate texts, given to us, and nothing more than that.”… “The Ari received the composition of these matters from Elijah, and he knew the internality, since he is an angel.” Here my wrath poured out on them, for my patience to be with them had ended.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, From the Mouth of a Sage”