For the week ending 28 June 2008 / 25 Sivan 5768

Late-Night Callers

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Become a Supporter Library Library

Question: It often happens that the telephone in my home rings after I have already retired for the night. I am sorely tempted to answer the call because it may be an emergency and am almost always disappointed to learn that the caller is merely some "late bird" who is calling about some non-urgent matter without considering that most people are already asleep. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Since people have different schedules for going to sleep there is no way of expecting everyone to have the consideration you believe is appropriate.

Perhaps the best solution is to introduce this note to the message on your answering machine:

"If you are calling after (whichever hour you choose) I am unable to answer because I have already retired for the night. If your call is of an urgent nature please ring again upon completion of this message and I will try to answer. Otherwise please save your call until tomorrow (indicate hours you are available) when I will be happy to speak with you."

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