Malmesbury, 29 March, 1902

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, sons David and Noah, and daughters, Leah and Freda, may they live and grow up in wealth and comfort, amen.


My dear wife, I have duly received your letter of the 8th of February, and I thank you for your well being. On my side, I can tell you that I am TG in good health, and may this letter also find you in the best of health. I have sent you £4 twice, that makes £8 all together. Please write how much is still owing. I am very restless about it, because I don’t know to what extent you owe money and I have not sent you money for a long time. So please write all particulars about your accounts, and I will do everything I can to settle them. I would not mind if you kept all my savings boxes, but unfortunately this is not the time yet. I hope the good times will still come, because we have endured a lot of bad ones, and when the good times come, we shall be able to talk about it in happiness.


About business, I deal in poultry and eggs and I send them by train to Cape Town. Business is not bad, if only God will grant me success then things will improve even better. I have separated from our partner and I have no regrets about it. May God grant that everything in future will be right.


As Yomtov is arriving shortly, I hope that God will provide more profits. It depends entirely on Him, as the posek says, ‘depend on God and He will keep you’. Geruses for the seder, I hope to have the seder together with the Schochet and the landlord who is here with his family, and the rest of Yomtov everybody will be on his own. But with God’s help and a bit of luck and good health and good profits, everything will be right.

I, on my side, have already written everything; now I’m asking you to write everything about yourself and your area in the town, and also what is going on in Shimberg and Ermieneshieck. How are the old Greentugs? What are the young ones doing, and how are the Rubins getting on? And further in both families. Please write everything in detail. It is now not long before Easter, so who is moving and where? How is Jeta Memighas? What does she say about the rabbi? Is she going to hit him again with the rolling pin? How is the tyrant getting on? How is the cow? Is it giving you the pleasure? What about another cow? How is ‘Zebia’? You never write about her. Is she still childless? Please write about everything about Papile. I know nothing about them. How is Chaim Shmerel the American? Where is he now? How is the young Urdang getting on? He was here in Africa. Give him my regards. Write me also about Eliastam, who as you write has returned. Has he been to Africa? Please write me who it is? How is Reb Zundel Shmuel Nochim, the reseacher? I have heard that he has returned. He has treated the rabbis of Birzh very well and they have survived. 


It is like Titus, [i] who grabbed a Sefer Torah at the time when the Temple was burning (some good in the evil). So one can say ‘these are His victories - people are dancing before Him’. Alas for the ears that have to hear such things. May God have mercy on all of us, and save the name of the Torah and its students, and let Him collect all the people in the galut. Amen. I am closing my writing. I greet everybody who has asked about me. Keep well and happy and have a good Yomtov and a good after-Yomtov, as is the wish of your ever faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear parents, father and mother, sisters and brothers, and also my dear mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law, and all relatives and friends, and may you all live happily and in good spirits, as is the wish of your son and son-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar


Notes:

[i] Titus Flavius Vespasianuscommanded a legion that besieged and conquered Jerusalem in 70 CE which lead to the destruction of the Temple.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar