What is a Jew’s real profession?

They were frightened, so the children of Israel cried out to G-d. (Shmot14:10)

Rashi says that when the Jews ‘cried out to G-d’, they were practising the ‘profession’ of their forefathers, i.e. prayer. A Jew should perceive prayer and likewise Torah study as his ‘profession.’ He shouldn’t feel the urge to pray only when a problem arises and he needs God’s help. Similarly a person shouldn’t study Torah only when he needs to know what to do. Rather he should preceive prayer and Torah study as his ‘profession’ which he devotes himself to constantly whether there is a direct need to do so or not.

Similarly when drawing another Jew closer to Judaism, one should never think: ‘He does not look the type to become involved in lengthy prayer or in deep Torah study.’ For every Jew is, at heart capable of treating prayer and study seriously, since it it is his ‘profession.’ We simply need to reveal this potential by drawing the person with warmth and love.

From ‘Chumash’ The Gutnik Edition


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