Education and guidance constitute a comprehensive discipline with many principles concerning the proper preparation and conduct of both educator and pupil.

In general, [the underlying theme of these principles is that] education entails tremendous responsibility, demands arduous and laborious work, and can be carried out only with profound spiritual and physical exertion.

All of man's actions - whether exceedingly difficult or simple - require a specific [revelatory] talent; for every action must evolve from its [prior] spiritual state to its [revelatory] material one.

The type of talent that is suitable for actualizing a particular action depends upon the type of action to be performed. And the efficacy of the resultant action is determined by the degree to which one can successfully reveal this talent.

Talent is a gift from G‑d.

Some people are endowed by G‑d with a talent for singing; others with a talent for oratory and elocution, or a talent for instructing; and some people are graced by G‑d with a talent for educating, and so on.

Talents are [expressions of the] the soul's spiritual powers - its limbs.

The soul's essence extends into these limbs, animating them according to their particular character, and enabling them [thereby] to carry out their unique tasks.

Although the soul's essence is a spiritual entity that does not differentiate between the various talents, yet talents are clearly divided by their inherent qualities and respective effects.

Talents are divided into two general groups:

(a) talents that have a physical effect, such as

a talent to draw and to weave, or a talent to play assorted types of musical instruments, etc., and (b) talents that have a spiritual effect, such as

a talent for oratory and elocution which stir the emotions of an audience, a talent for teaching and instructing, or a talent for educating and counselling, and so forth.

This division is based on [differences between] the external influence of talents.

As such, it is also predicated upon the way in which talents are revealed within their resultant actions.

This basis of distinction between the two categories of talents has both general and specific applications: No comparison whatsoever can be made between the way in which a talent affects the physical and the way in which it affects the spiritual.

This is similar to the contrasts that exist among the talents within each of these two general groups:

Just as in the realm of related physical talents, the effects of drawing differs from the effects of singing, so, too, do comparable distinctions exist in the realm of related spiritual talents: the effects of educating and counselling differs from the effects of teaching and instructing.


Talents are categorized by:

1) what they affect - the material or the spiritual;

2) the manner in which they are revealed within each of the two general groups and within the particular subgroups of the two general groupings.