By the Grace of G‑d
9 Sivan, 5739 [June 4, 1979]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 30th of Nissan [April 27], which reached me with considerable delay. In it you write about [a woman in your community], who would like to open a shop and, presumably, would want to manage it personally.

Although it is generally difficult to give advice in such a situation from a distance, and not knowing the person – I do not think, generally speaking, that it would be advisable for her to undertake such a responsibility, in view of the fact that she has […] children of school age and has also to take care of household responsibilities in her important role as Akeres Habayis [the mainstay of the home]. Even, as you write, she can get adequate help in the house and there would be no problem of child-minding, it cannot be a substitute for the personal attention and care that the children need in their upbringing and Chinuch [education]. These considerations surely have top priority, and all other considerations can only be secondary.

To be sure, if one has time to spare, it should be utilized in the best possible way, but one should not confuse the order of priorities.

(Excerp from a letter) 1: