Malmesbury, Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 7 May, 1902

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, my sons David and Noah, and daughters, Leah and Freda, may they all grow up in wealth and comfort, amen.


Dearest wife, seeing that it is Rosh Chodesh, it is incumbent on me to send you Rosh Chodesh gelt, but alas, just after Pesach I am a bit short of money, and we must be patient even though you may not want to be patient. I hope with God’s help to be able to send money, as much as possible, and may God have mercy and grant us prosperity so that everything can go better.


I ask you to write about the accounts, as to the amount that you owe, and you can do me the favour because, you know, as the saying is ‘before you arrive at a verdict, you feel worse than the verdict itself’. I know and picture you as a real balleboste, and yet let me know how big is the debt, and then everything will be easier for me. I know very well that I have not sent you any money for Purim, but business was not good. And when God shows His mercy and provides business, I can keep it up. If God should grant me success I should not be unkind to you. I know how to treat everybody well, but before you have good luck you can do nothing. In one word, we must hope. Because God’s will be done and all will come right. In summer we will see improvements because everything has its time and nothing is forever, and with God’s help everything comes to its goal, because the Lord is good so we must hope for good, amen.


I am sending you four copies of my photograph. You should take one until God unites us again in a good way, so that we should be able to live like all the world together and with the children, amen. And the second photo you can send to my brother Eliyahu Zalman Kretzmar in Vitebsk. And the third you can send to Shmuel Morris in America, your brother. And the fourth one you can send to our brother in the Caucasus [Shmuel?] uncle Willie doing his military service). May God grant that we may be able to see each other in a good way, and until we see each other, at least let us hear good news about health and prosperity; and to you my dear wife, I want to ask, that when I send money, to get a photograph of yourself and the children and send it to me. I can’t imagine what a pleasure it will be for me if you were to do it. Further news I have nothing to write. It is after Pesach and business is very quiet until it will become busy again, with God’s help. I’m closing my letter, keep well and happy and hope to God, as is the wish of your faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents, my father Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, my chaste and modest mother Beile, and my dear brother, Yaacov Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana, may you all be well.


My dear brother Yaacov, is there any news of a shiddach? I am thinking that the young girl has grown up already and perhaps she was introduced to somebody else. It is not fashionable to speculate. I would like to hear a mazel tov from you. Maybe in my own business I shall have more mazel. Live well and be happy. May God grant you everything that you need and you should have pleasure of yourself and the children. Amen. As is the wish of your dear son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear mother-in-law, the chaste and modest Neche, and my dear brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, and their children – may they all be blessed. Also my dear brother-in-law, Aaron, and my dear sister-in-law, Chana Reza, may they all live happily, as is the wish of your son-in-law, brother-in-law and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


Dear brother Yaacov, please send every photo to its proper place – I don’t have the addresses. You have sent me them, but it is possible that the addresses have changed. So I am sending them to you and you should forward to my brother Eliayahu Zalman in my name. I would very much like to see his letters, and I ask him kindly to write to me. I know that he is older and of a higher status than me, but one does not need to ask questions – when the time will come we be able to talk, and now I’m asking him to write to me how it goes with him and what he does and about the children, each one separately, please do me the favour and write,

Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar