People, when classified according to their occupation, fall into one of two categories: full-time Torah scholars, or businessmen.

This division, however, is not one which is indicative of differences in their soul [powers].

Conversely, a division based on intellectual differences, resulting from differences in the manifestation of soul powers, as explained in Chapter Three, is indeed a division that springs from essential variations of the soul's manifestation.

Therefore, a simple fellow cannot normally ever be transformed into an outstanding intellectual, capable of thinking creatively and grasping profound ideas - if not for some wondrous and highly unusual external cause.

Similarly, an outstanding sage cannot normally ever be changed into a simple person, unless it is a punishment - G‑d forbid - which causes him to fall from his [high] rank - Heaven forfend - since the distinction between a wise person and a plain person is an essential one.

The division that is a result of occupation, however, is not an essential one.

Thus, a businessman can become a full-time Torah scholar, and a full-time Torah scholar can become a businessman.

Nevertheless, as long as they are involved in their respective vocations, whether as a Torah scholar or as a businessman, their situations differ, viz., in that which they need or are compelled to do, and in that which they are compelled to refrain from doing.

It is a readily accepted fact that a full-time Torah scholar belongs to a category superior to that of a businessman, though not necessarily superior to that of a craftsman or laborer.

Likewise, it is certainly agreed that people with essentially different natures also act differently in business matters: a wise and talented individual even while involved in business is markedly different from ordinary business people.

Yet even such a person of refined character is still far removed from the category of a full-time Torah scholar.

In view of the above, basic differences necessarily exist regarding the obligations of the two groups, in terms of Torah study and conduct, for these are two very different lifestyles.

A full-time Torah scholar: 1) controls his own time, 2) lives a tranquil life, and 3) finds himself only in proper and superlative surroundings.

In the case of a businessman, however:

1) he does not have control of his own time - since even when he conducts himself properly [in his business affairs], he is still deemed, according to the Torah, to be [legitimately] occupied [while earning a livelihood];

2) business, by its very nature, is harrying, and most business people do not live a tranquil life;

3) the nature of his work brings him in contact with various types of people, and occasionally he finds himself in unsavory surroundings.

Therefore, education and guidance that can be imparted to Torah scholars, as explained by the Alter Rebbe in Tanya, chapter 30, cannot be imparted to business people, as it is impossible for a businessman to conduct himself in all his ways as a Torah scholar.

In matters permitted by the Torah, there are certainly differences between them. Some actions when performed by businessmen would not be considered a trans gression or sin. But for Torah scholars such conduct would be considered an unforgivable sin, and they would be desecrating G‑d's Name.


Education or guidance that is appropriate for full-time Torah scholars, is unfeasible for business people.