“A Bridge Too Far,” which appeared in “On Second Thought” (Jan. 30, 2019), included a reference to a letter that Yisrael Goodovich says his great-grandfather, the Chofetz Chaim, wrote to his mother Freudka Goodovich before her chasunah.
The letter, which is published in Kol Kisvei Chofetz Chaim (Letter 186), was unfortunately misquoted. The Chofetz Chaim does not say that “Everything is important, a kosher kitchen, a nice apartment, shemiras Shabbos. But Shaloim Bayis above all.” In fact, the letter does not mention shalom bayis at all.
It urges that she “put her eyes and heart on the two yesodei hadas,” which the Chofetz Chaim identifies as taharas hamishpachah and shemiras Shabbos. Furthermore, it is clear from the letter that the Chofetz Chaim assumed that her groom was religious.
We are grateful to the readers who brought this to our attention and apologize for the error. Above is a copy of the text of the letter.