Cape Town, 6 June, 1900

To my dear and loving wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, May they live in wealth and pleasure.


Dearest wife, I have received your letter, in which you mention about my being upset about your brother’s letter, it was unnecessary. In fact, it is not so because I understood that he did not notice how bad it appeared, coming from thousands of miles away and which was awaited from the best of friends – as balm to a wound, instead it is like salt in a wound. So it turns out to be bitter and because it was a mistake it is excused. The rule is that, even if you are cross, you must know what you are doing, not pour out all your feelings as they say altogether.


I am enclosing with this letter £3, as you wrote me that you have to go to Shavel to see the eye doctor, and if you see that it may not be necessary, then he will heal it with God’s help. You must not postpone it and leave everything at home in order. Go to Shavel. I reckon that your cost of living should cost £1/10s, i.e. fifteen roubles a month, i.e. that you have left for expenses fifteen roubles, but this is very little. So in the next month I shall try and send as much as possible and you should tell me how you stand in money matters and how much the value of the pound is. Please write me everything in detail about yourself.

TG for his mercy that I TG will in good health hope to hear the same from you. Please forgive as I have to shorten this letter as I have to write all of my letters at night because I am busy during the day, and if when you feel tired letter-writing is left over until early in the morning, the days are lengthening here. I have to go to prayers and therefore I have to shorten this letter. Keep well and happy, as I wish you, Your ever loving and faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents, children, and sister, and specially my brother Yaacov, and my mother-in-law Neche, and my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister, and the children, and my sister-in-law, Hannah Reza, and my brother-in-law, Aaron. I wish you all good luck and good health, From me your son, son-in-law, brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

Please excuse my simple writing now but alas I cannot afford much time in writing now, I have to go earn my living.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar