Work in Jewish Thought

Work is not a religious obligation in traditional Jewish thought, but it is highly valued.

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It is interesting that some form of bodily activity is advocated, not an intellectual pursuit, either because the Rabbis were also thinking of people for whom intellectual pursuits had no attraction or, more plausibly, because, in the absence in Rabbinic times of anything like present-day sporting activities, some physical effort was advocated even for the scholar. "Idleness leads to dullness" is a popular saying quoted by the ancient Rabbis and subsequently by the Jewish moralists, though they would presumably agree with the saying that it is all work and no play that also leads to dullness. Recreational activities were engaged in by Jews throughout the ages.

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Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.