Are there any professions the Torah considers praiseworthy and why?

  • How explicit a praise are you looking for? If Yaakov blesses his son and says "you will be X" is X a praiseworthy profession? If Moshe was a shepherd and Moshe is praiseworthy, is the profession a good one?
    – rosends
    Nov 24, 2015 at 11:21
  • 1
    See the last 2 pages of Kidushin that describe professions the Torah considers praiseworthy and why. Nov 24, 2015 at 13:49
  • Please clarify "Torah". The Talmud is also "Torah", and IIRC, it does mention "praiseworthy" occupations. Please describe "praiseworthy", as well. (My shviger "praises" almost everything that I do, but that may not be "praiseworthy".)
    – DanF
    Nov 24, 2015 at 13:49
  • If you explain more precisely what you're looking for, as described in the above comments, and also what you're trying to get at by looking for that, you can make this question much more answerable.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 24, 2015 at 20:56
  • by Torah I mean all of Torah including תורה שבכתב and תורה שבעל פה by praiseworthy I mean does the Torah give any reason this might be a preferred job to have for any reason?
    – Dude
    Nov 25, 2015 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


As noted by Danny Schoemann in a comment, Kiddushin 82a - 82b lists some professions that are seen as praiseworthy (along with others that are not):

  1. Camel drivers (according to R. Yehudah) - because they work in the dangerous desert where they fear for their lives, and therefore their 'hearts are broken towards G-d'. (Rashi)
  2. Sailors - because they work in an even more fear-inducing environment than camel drivers. (Rashi)
  3. Embroiderers - because it is a clean and easy trade.
  4. Perfumers - as one is dealing with pleasant-smelling materials.
  • You missed the most important one - רבי נהוראי אומר מניח אני כל אומנות שבתורה ואיני מלמד בני אלא תורה
    – DonielF
    Jan 21, 2019 at 14:16
  • I was unsure whether to include that or not. My read of R Nehorai is that Torah is not a profession at all. He's saying he wouldn't teach his son any profession, but instead would teach him Torah.
    – Joel K
    Jan 21, 2019 at 14:47
  • What, you don’t get paid in Kollel? :) That last line in the Gemara is unclear to me, where he explains his reasoning: is he fully comparing learning Torah to a profession, or is he only contrasting the two?
    – DonielF
    Jan 21, 2019 at 14:49
  • Is there anyone who discusses these types of careers and how they would translate into more common applications of work today?
    – Dude
    Jan 21, 2019 at 15:25

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