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Igrot Hare’aya – Letters of Rav Kook #108

Choice of Profession


Beit Din Eretz Hemda - Gazit

Tamuz 13 5782
Date and Place: 18 Shevat 5668 (1908), Yafo

Recipient: Moshe Zeidel, a young student of Rav Kook from his days in Boisk, and a frequent correspondent of his.

Body: … I will now respond to your inquiry as to a choice of a profession for you. If I had enough time to investigate more exactly the results of those who graduated from different courses of study and the way they chose their life path, I would be very happy to share my opinion, which would of course focus on the spiritual element of the choice. Since it is difficult for me to clarify the matter, I cannot give you practical advice.

I will just share with you my inclination, that there are three professions that someone as special as you, full of wisdom and pure fear of Hashem, might choose to bring spiritual gains to our nation, in addition to any personal gain. I believe that the fields are philosophy, Semitic languages and literature, and national economics.

My logic is that our generation is very confused, and the confusion finds its way to the field of economic theory, and this is influenced by philosophy. These matters find their way to the Jewish people as national and racial tendencies. All of this is connected to Semitic literature, as this is the quarry from which our nation was hewn.

My hope is that if we can produce students who are full of talent and earnestness in these fields, they will be able to increase light through their personal work, which will channel the world properly in these fields of study, uncover fundamental truths, and help heal the confusion of the generation. Of course, one cannot complete a scientific course of study without knowledge of hidden treasures in other sciences, but I think the fields I raised are the most important fields.

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