The name of the woman to whom this letter was sent was not released.

B”H, 17 Kislev, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Blessings and greetings,1

Your letter from 27 Cheshvan was duly received. Because of the large amount of work incumbent upon me, I did not have the opportunity to answer your letter until now.

In your letter, you ask my opinion [regarding the following situation]: You have two children, may they be healthy, and [your] doctor is advising you to use birth control.

You are certainly aware that birth control is not congruent with the Torah’s outlook which views children as a blessing from G‑d which He conveys upon the parents. The Torah also asserts that the Jewish people have no private matters. Instead, every Jew is part of the entire Jewish people and all the private matters of every Jew have an effect on the entire Jewish people. In particular, this applies in the present time, after the [Heavenly] decrees [that brought about] the Holocaust in which thousands of Jews died in sanctification of G‑d’s name.

Nevertheless, in a situation where the health of a Jew — a man, woman, or child — is involved, [there is room for consideration]. For the health of a Jew is, as Rambam states,2 one of the paths of the service of G‑d. [Therefore,] in specific instances, the Torah recognizes [the value of] specific means of birth control.

In this, it is difficult to outline general directives, because [the ruling] depends on the nature of the difficulty which giving birth could cause a mother and also on the type of birth control used.

Therefore I would advise you that, after discussing the matter again with your doctor, [when] he instructs you which form of birth control he has in mind, you should consult a chassidic Orthodox Rav and hear his opinion.

May G‑d lead you in the right way [that enables you to enjoy] full health and derive satisfaction from your children, together with your husband, Rabbi ....

With blessing,

Menachem Schneerson