Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 25: Examine the first question, where they imagine that they can keep the whole Torah without the knowledge of the wisdom of Kabbalah. I say to them: Indeed, if you can keep the study of Torah and the observance of the commandments appropriately, Lishma, meaning only in order to bring contentment to the Maker, then indeed, you do not need to study Kabbalah. This is because then it is said about you, “One’s soul shall teach him.” But if you have been practicing the Torah in Lo Lishma for more than three years, as Rabbi Yosi says, and five years, as the Tana Kama says, then the Braita warns you that you will not see a good sign in this path you are treading! Why delude your souls with false hopes when you have such a near and sure tactic as the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah.
We can correct our desire so that it will be totally aimed at bestowal only by uniting “as one man with one heart.” Then we will become a vessel, a desire that is ready for bestowal, and will eventually attain the goal: adhesion with the Creator.
The question is whether this is possible without studying the wisdom of Kabbalah? As we know, the answer is no, it is impossible because the Light that comes to correct a person is revealed only by the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is what brings the Light to our coarse and corrupt souls, and no other wisdom can help us here.
Besides, without the wisdom of Kabbalah we don’t even know what we study for. This is because Kabbalah includes introductions, explanations about why man was created, why the Torah is necessary, and how to use it correctly—only for the correction of human nature, for establishing closer relations between people so that they will become one whole and thus resemble the Light, so that the partition called “Pharaoh,” which separates us from one another and rules over us, will break.
By studying the wisdom of Kabbalah we will understand what our freewill is and where exactly we should apply all our efforts. But if a person just studies the Holy Scripture: the Bible, the Talmud, and so on, it isn’t enough to understand what is required of him.
At the end of the exile we have reached such lowly desires that even with the help of the wisdom of Kabbalah it is difficult to assess and translate the terms and the definitions correctly, directing it to the person himself, to what is happening inside him. From the part called “The Perception of Reality,” we know that everything is actually inside us. And still, it is very hard for us to change our perspective, to look from the outside inwards, and to see that the whole world is in here, and that this is the place that needs correction.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/22/12, “Introduction to TES“