For someone that has a degree in a common field like accounting or law and has decided to look for work in a different field, are there any options available in the Torah field?

By this I don't mean to use his accounting degree in a yeshivah, but to actually become a rebbe, kiruv speaker, spiritual advisor or what have you.

Is this step even practical if one has responsibilities and expenses that need to be taken care of?

Let's assume that he can afford to take off one year from work and gain the necessary skills, what sort of effort would be required and how successful can he become?

  • Primarily opinion based? "How successful can he become"? "Is this step even practical if one has responsibilities and expenses that need to be taken care of?" How could we possibly answer that? – Double AA Apr 27 '15 at 15:21
  • @DoubleAA, then you ask me to bring it to attention when moderators down vote/close questions. It seems that the rigidness of the rules on this site can lessen the utility that this site can offer. – Ani Yodea Apr 27 '15 at 15:27
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    I think there are too many questions in this post, some of which are not answerable here. 1) What options exist? (Answerable) 2) Is this step practical if ...? (Entirely individual-based, so not answerable. 3) What sort of effort would be required? (Likely depends on what path and existing background. Probably only answerable if it specifies both of these, maybe as a follow-up to (1).) 4) How successful can he become? (Must specify what "successful" means - money? fulfillment? harbatza? - and focus on one career path. See also judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10745 .) – Isaac Moses Apr 27 '15 at 15:27
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    AniYodea, if you would like to propose a change in how Mi Yodeya operates, I recommend that you write it up on Mi Yodeya Meta. The more precisely you write up your proposed change, and the more evidence you supply to support the case for it, the more likely that your proposal will lead to productive discussion and possibly change. Note that the Stack Exchange Q&A model, which is characteristically more rules-based than most online fora, is one of the main few things that distinguish Mi Yodeya from other places online where you can discuss Judaism. – Isaac Moses Apr 27 '15 at 15:36
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    (FTR there was one vote for Unclear, two for Too Broad, and two for Opinion Based.) – Double AA Apr 27 '15 at 17:10

Knowledge in Torah is paramount. Prior substantial experience in a yeshiva environment is key to molding both the potential Teachers mind and storehouse of knowledge which will be needed to draw upon when teaching, but his fear of heaven - Yiras Shamayim, as well which is so important in relaying and conveying Torah to students.

Practically, there are many programs, both in America as well as Israel that are geared to training future teachers or Mekarvim. Such as Ner L'elef, Ohr Lagola, Pirchei Shoshanim and a myriad of other programs.

Definitely, assuming if one has the option, to take off work for a year or two of unencumbered learning is the most beneficial, as it would allow the person the opportunity to be steeped in learning before embarking on his desired goal to teach or disseminate Torah.

You can be as successful as you much as you allow yourself to be successful. Jewish history is rife with many men who came from very parse backgrounds who created themselves and shaped themselves into the leaders of the generation בדרך שאדם רוצה לילך מוליכים אותו- The direction that man wants to go, God will facilitate you going in that direction. If you put in the requisite work needed to grow in your learning in order to spread it to others, then Hashem will help you be successful.

In terms of other responsibilities in your life, that question must be brought to a competent rabbi that you trust someone that knows you personally. This site is not the forum for such a question.

I do suggest though, to read up on the biography of the Alter of Novardohk who made a personal decision to devote his entire life to study despite the fact that he had an immense amount of family and financial responsibility. Rav Yisroel Salanter very much pushed him in when seeing his potential to give back to the Jewish people.


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As stated by Mefaresh, you will need to have a lot of wisdom, insights and a personal spiritual connection to become a Rebbe.

Furthermore, a Rebbe undergoes (like every other profession) education in a Rabbinical school and recieves a Rabinnical Degree, much like your accounting degree, although the difficulty in these classes greatly surpass accounting education, because they include accounting, law, mathimatics, biology, and many other subjects.

You can follow these links to learn more about certification and degrees.

Rabbinical School | www.hebrewcollege.edu

Rabbinic Ordination Program - https://aleph.org/ordinations/rabbinic-program


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  • I have known many rabbeim who did not have a Rabbinical Degree, or at least, not semicha. – Isaac Moses Apr 27 '15 at 15:29
  • Were they appointed, or self proclaimed? – Ess Kay May 4 '15 at 19:41
  • Take a look at this: wikihow.com/Become-a-Rabbi – Ess Kay May 4 '15 at 19:41
  • @IsaacMoses: Were these rabbis (such as synagogue rabbis) who were asked wide-ranging questions by members of the congregation and who would provide answers? – unforgettableidSupportsMonica May 4 '15 at 20:13
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    EssKay and @unforgettableid,the rabbeim I'm referring to are schoolteachers and outreach professionals who do not have semicha. In most or all such cases that I'm aware of, they are conventionally called "Rabbi," at least within their school/institution and frequently outside of it as well. I suspect that synagogue rabbis without semicha are much less common, but the question at hand is about "careers in Torah" generally, and this answer is about becoming a "Rebbe" (which I assumed meant school teacher). From what I've seen semicha is not [always] required for such roles. – Isaac Moses May 5 '15 at 16:11

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