Workers of the Creator Who Make the Torah Arid
This is the matter concerning the declining merit of the generations until they reached the final restriction in our generation and hence nobody feels any need to correct their nature. …Even those engaging in the work, it is by rote; they are not thirsty to reveal the upper wisdom. And even if they see such an opportunity, they prefer to remain at the level of simple execution.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Remedy of Memory”
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 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.
– The Writings of Ari, The Tree of Life, Part 1, “Introduction of Chaim Vital,” 11-12