Cape Town, 20 November, 1900

To my dearest wife, Taube Kretzmer, Be well and live in happiness. And to my dear children, sons David and Noah, and my daughters Leah and Freda, be well and grow up in wealth and comfort.


My dear wife, I have safely today received your letter of Chol Hamoed, Sukkot. I thank you warmly for your dear writing, as it gives courage and strength to hope and strive till the Lord will help and grant his prosperity so that we can see the purpose of all this travelling about, and that we may be able shortly to experience it in a good way. With him it is possible because He is a kol yachol,‘He can do anything’. I am surprised that you write that my letters do not arrive regularly every week, because I am writing every week without fail. Please write me if you have not received any so that I can know which were lost.


You wrote that you received my letter on Yom Kippur night and that it pleased you very much, and that you assumed this was a sign from the Almighty that the new year would be happy and successful. I can tell you, I also hope so. As I stood in the shul on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in a corner and prayed, I prayed to the Lord to answer our prayers, with good blessings. At the same time, I pictured you as you stood in the shul in Shemberg, and poured out your sad heart to the Almighty and asked him to observe our travail and grant his blessings that we should not be estranged, one from the other, from one end of the world to the other. I also found some consolation that the Lord had accepted our prayers, as he accepted the prayer of Father Isaac, when he stood in one corner and his wife, Rebecca, in another corner. Should be a good intermediary. (I don’t mean our aunt Rebecca.) And he fulfilled their prayer, so I hope that he will also fulfill our wish.


In the meantime, I thank the Lord for His mercy in granting you good health as you write about your situation – that you and our dear children and parents are all well. I can also inform you that I am TG keeping well. May the Lord grant that we may always hear good news – the one from the other, all the time.

About sending clothes from home, no one is travelling now and if and when someone is coming, one has to make arrangements and they have their own luggage to carry. I think I have not asked for anything. I wrote to know if it was possible to send something, with Sneir Yehuda Ziv and a pair of top boots, and if not possible, it also would not matter. We don’t go naked here, but still better than with you. And don’t worry about this anymore. I have no more to write, so I close my writing now this time. Write me soon if you have received the £4 which I sent with Moishe Jacobson’s wife, and PG write at once. Be well and happy, full of courage and best hopes for everything of the best in this year. This is the only wish of your devoted husband, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar