Cape Town, 27 November, 1900, Vayigash

To my dear father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my dear mother, the modest Beile, and to my brothers and sisters, and to my brother Yaacov Kretzmar, and to my sisters Hinda and Chana, and to my younger brothers Zev Wolf, may you all be blessed.

My dear wife Taube and my dear children, my sons David and Noah and my daughters Leah and Freda, may you all live well. My dear father and my dear wife, first of all I want to inform you that TG I am well, may God grant that my letter should reach you in the same way.


About Parnassah, I have not much to write, I guarantee you that the Baron Korf of Shimberg– it is possible that he is not at home - and it can happen that he has no time to repair his vollekes (felt overboots) and to repair his kapotte (overcoat) and so they travel to warmer climates. It is possible that he is not at home. Nevertheless I write to you that it is a big ‘aveyle’ (criminal offence) – that I am working so hard for people who don’t even want to know about me.


So my dear wife, please, from now on see to it that you consider it as a religious duty to write every week – punctually and not to wait for my letter to arrive. Every week you should have your letter ready and send it to Moishe and he will post it to me together with Rachel’s letter because we live together in one room and so our letters can go in the same envelope. So please do as I ask you. I am asking this for the thousandth time. Don’t economise on paper and time to write about everything that is happening – about everything in the house and about the children.


What have you made for them for the winter? And if the cow is still milking? And how is the cow with Bogdanovich? If she is supposed to start milking this winter? I would like you to keep her until the winter is over. So I repeat, please write about everything.


I send regards to relatives and friends and the whole family. My special greetings to Shmuel Rubin Kretzmar of Panemunė and his family, Pinchus Reitstein of Lekeb, and his family. I wish you all the luck and blessings in everything you do and please write me yourself how you are getting on. I am prepared to answer everyone individually. I greet Menachem Mendel Kretzmar and Mordechai Ben Chaim Kretzmar of Kotzen, and Zvi Hirsh Rosemarion of Zudgala. From me, your son and husband and father and friend, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar