One must forget that we are still unsettled and in Cape Town. I did not expect to be staying in Cape Town for so long and to do such business in Cape Town. I would not have left home had I known this. So, as it has happened, so we have to thank God for his help in the meantime. And we hope that the future will be better, as it seems that the war will shortly come to an end – for better or for worse [i]. And then all the Jews hope to do better. I also hope that it will be good for me. Please write about our relations and friends. Mi yanuach who will stay put and umi yanua who will move somewhere else [ii]. Write me please about your neighbours, how they are getting on and what’s happening. I greet and kiss you heartily from me, your ever faithful husband who wishes you everything of the best. Be well and stay well, as is the wish of your ever faithful and loving husband Tuvye Kretzmar.


Notes:

[i] As Tuvye indicated, Britain thought that the war would be won easily, but they were wrong.

[ii] The reference is to the U­netanah Tokef , a piyyut (liturgical poem) sung on the High Holy Days: “On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed – how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die after a long life and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword and who by beast, who by famine and who by thirst, who by upheaval and who by plague, who by strangling and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted. But Repentance, Prayer, and Charity annul the severity of the decree.”

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar