While the Jews believed in education for educations’s sake, still they regarded the theoretical side of instruction but as a preparation for practical life. The saying, “ Not learning but doing is the principle thing,” is proof that the school was not the end in itself, but only a means and a preparation for life and thus they evinced in their way their belief in the principle, "Non scholae sed vitae, discimus.”*
The practice of the Law is more important than the study. He who knows the theory but never practices is an haarez (ignoramus). Practice was acquired in association with learned men or teachers. This was considered very valuable since the ordinary conversation of wise men is profitable. This was considered very valuable, since the ordinary conversation of wise men is profitable.
Without regard to social position in life, the Talmud ordered that, besides study, a handicraft should be learned.” As it is your duty to teach your son the law, teach him a trade.” “Disobedience to this ordinance exposes one to just contempt, for thereby the social condition of all was endangered.” “He who does not have his son taught a trade prepares him to be a robber.” “He who applies himself to study alone, is like him who has no God.”
For the before–mentioned reasons and because one-sidedness in education was undesirable and partly for hygienic reasons, the greatest teachers of the Talmudic period were also workmen, who, while pulling the thread through the sole of the shoe or rolling their barrel to the marketplace, were meditating upon serious philosophical questions.*We do not learn for the school, but for life.