I am writing to my learned and excellent friend, Menachem Mendel Kretzmar

Shalom, my friend, and Aleichem Shalom to me. My friend, I have received your letter and I am replying to you with thanks. I see from your letter that your keenness to write to me stems from love and because I often write at the slightest pretense, you don’t seem to take any interest in me, and for that I ask you to forgive me if I say that you made a mistake. First of all, I have never acquired friends with money or with compliments. I am not telling you to honour me or to love me. I will still love you, even if you don’t want to correspond with me. What is the good of getting cross about it? Have I ever complained to your brother, Shmuel Kretzmar, from whom I have not heard a word since I left home. If you have no patience to write letters, I tell you that the basis of my letters to family and friends is my wish to hear from you, and only incidentally one writes about things of not much importance (refers to a quotation from Solomon where moss and the cedar of Lebanon are brought together – (unimportant and non-consequential things, e.g. in the correspondence) I wish you and all your family shalom, and to your brother, Shmuel Kretzmar, from me, your dear friend, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents and my brother and sister, all very cordially and in friendship, I also greet amicably my dear mother-in-law and my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law and my sister Sarah and the children, may they all live well. I wish you all good luck and blessings in all ways, from me, your son and son-in-law and brother-in-law and brother. Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar