Career or children?

2 12 2010

Excerpted from Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s Question and Answer series on Naaleh.comRebbetzin's Perspective Class 10



Although children did not come easily to me, thank G-d I now have three school age children. Sometimes I can’t help feeling like I’m neither here nor there – not really immersed in child-rearing to the exclusion of everything else, but not entirely free to go back to school to pursue my interests. I can only imagine how betrayed women who planned careers or employment as prospective mothers and were not yet fortunate enough to get married and/or have kids must feel!



It seems like you only see two possibilities of fulfillment. One is full time employment in a demanding career, and the other is full time mothering. However, there are many other possibilities and ways to spend time that are fulfilling and interesting. When a person’s basic physical needs are met, people usually pursue aesthetic pleasure. After that, people search for relationships.  Think about the individuals you like the most, ask yourself why you like them. The answers are always spiritual. You can’t weigh loyalty or measure kindness. Feeling loyal, kind, and positive when you are with the person makes you like them even more. This is called spiritual bonding, and it is a very deep pleasure.


You need opportunities for spiritual bonding. It can take place within your family, through tefila, through chesed, or by taking a course which can equip you to help others.  If Hashem gave you the ability to do more, than by all means do more. Some single or childless women may feel betrayed, but the proper response is, “This is where I am supposed to be and I am going to find the good in it.”


The Sefat Emet explains that when Hashem told Avraham, “Lech lecha,” he did not tell him where to go because he wanted to bring Avraham to the maximum level of bitul haratzon, negation of his own will. Hashem gave him the opportunity to say, “I will go where you will lead me, wherever that may be.”


Everyone is told, “Lech lecha,” to go to Eretz Yisrael, in a theoretical sense, the place of bitul haratzon. Ask yourself, “How can I do Hashem’s will without questions?”  By giving you time and space, Hashem is saying, “Go where I am leading you.”  Don’t waste this time. Fill it with meaning and depth by nurturing your relationship with Hashem and giving to others in a way that will expand your inner self.




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