Malmesbury, 27 August, 1901

To my dearest and precious wife, Taube Kretzmar, Lebben zolle, may she live in happiness and joy – and to my dear children, sons David and Noah, and my daughters Leah and Freda, may they all grow up in wealth and comfort, amen.


My dearest wife – your letter undated I have received. I am glad to hear about your welfare and I thank God for His mercy who grants us all good health, and I trust that in future He will also be merciful to us and provide us with everything we need for living and to educate the children in a Jewish way.


At present times are quiet in the bakery, there is little business but in the South African way it is impossible to save money that way because when one is at home with the family and you make a living in a ballebatieste way – that’s good enough, but alas, when one is separated far away, there is a need to save money in order to be able to go back home. It would not be worth the whole experience, and in a time when the world is locked up – it is more difficult. (Reference to need for a permit to move around.) The truth is, though, that if God wants to provide you with everything of the best, He can do so, also in the difficult times.


So let us hope that this Rosh Hashanah He will prescribe ‘all of the best’ and will rewrite us in a good way, and we will tell of our suffering and joy. I hope to send money next week, as much as possible. I cannot determine yet how much it will be. I would like to send more and more – but this is all in the hands of God. If He will provide, I will be glad to contribute my share. At the moment, I have no news to write of importance, and also one should not interfere about other people’s affairs. There is not the time to report news or stories. So I wish you and the children and all relatives and friends a happy New Year, together with all other Jews, keep well and happy and in good spirits – and I want you to pray in this New Year that God should grant us His blessings that we shall be together again in a good way.As is the wish of your faithful and true husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


To my dear father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and to my chaste and modest mother, Beile, and my dear brother, the scholar, Yaacov Kretzmar, and my other brothers and sisters, Hinda and Chana, may you all live well. I greet you all cordially and I wish you the best of everything, as you wish yourselves. I am TG in good health, as I wish to hear the same from you. From your son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


To my dear brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, shalom. May there be peace to you and all your household. My dear friend – you have apologised for Aaron Leib’s departure – it is true – it is not your fault, because I know your wishes, who can be responsible for his doings. I will tell you in a few words. It is no pleasure, either physical or spiritual, to be a wanderer, because this faith was accorded to the first murderer, Cain, who killed his brother, as he said, ‘I will be greatly punished when I become a wanderer forever’. So we can understand the feelings of a wanderer. So why should we Jews choose to be wanderers? Especially in such hard times, when all our aspirations are to earn bread. May the merciful Father reward us with a good year and to save us from wandering on account of everybody’s prayers, amen.


I cordially greet my dear mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, my brother-in-law, Aaron Morris, and may you all live happily together, with all Israel, as is the wish of your true son-in-law and brother-in-law,Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar