Cape Town, 20 September, 1900

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


My dear wife, I have received your writing and I thank God for granting you all good health. May you all live and prosper and that we should hear good news from each other as long as we are separated. I thank you for letting my sons David and Noah sign their greetings, but I wonder why the girls did not do the same. I want to ask you that in future you should ask them all to sign their names on every letter you write.


How is David getting on in cheder and what is he studying and if he is showing aptitude in his studies? Please write me everything.


I thank you for the news you’ve written me about the engagement of Miss Greentuch. What happened in the affair of the Arminishai, who was with Bertsik’s brother? It’s long past, or maybe it is still going on. And what is happening in the area?

Write to me immediately when you receive the money from Mrs Jacobson. You can be sure I did not look for opportunities to send money with the Jewish post (by hand to Russia explanation: it would be delayed), I hear that Moishe Jacobson sent all of his money home and afterwards decided to remain in Cape Town so he had to start working again – after this happened with his money. Soon I will send out some money – as much as possible. I must finish writing, it is late at night – it is the beginning of summer. The nights are short and the days long, and one has to take a rest because tomorrow it will be again Yomze Meshubad (there will be plenty of work tomorrow) [quotation from Sabbath Table Songs siddur]. Keep well, as is the wish of your devoted husband, Tuvye Kretzmar

I greet cordially my dear parents, father and mother, sisters and brothers, I wish you all the best of luck and happiness. My brother Jacob went to Ponedel - please write how things are going there and about their health. Keep well as is the wish of your dear son Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet also heartily my dear mother-in-law, the chaste Neche, as well as her son, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister, and the children, may they all live happily. Also Chana Reza and Aaron Morris, I wish them all peace and blessings.

My dear brother-in-law, I asked you how my son is getting on in his studies. What is he learning? And how are his abilities to study developing? Please write to me, Your dear brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar


P.S. I greet also all friends and acquaintances and anybody who makes inquiries into my welfare. I wish everyone the best of luck from the bottom of my heart, Tuvye Kretzmar. I greet also Yisrael Yaacov Greentuch, his wife and children, I thank you for your greetings. I wish you good luck from the depths of my heart. Your friend, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar