Cape Town, Wednesday, 30 May, 1900, 1 Sivan

To my dear, loving wife, Taube Kretzmar, Be well and live in good fortune.


Dearest wife, I have safely received your letter of the 20th of April, number seven. I received it last night, it was Rosh Chodesh, but the letter was a reply to the previous letter, number six, so that you must know that I have received all your letters. I thank the Lord for His mercy, that He grants you good health, and you for your writing how you spend your time. Please also let me know how you stand financially, every time exactly, so that I know what I have for the next week. I hope to send out some money as the Lord will provide and as much as will be possible.


About that, that you write me that you have to go to Shavel[i]to see the doctor – it means that this comes before all else, and there are no excuses for that. So I will, with God’s help, send you money, and if you plan to travel there you must not postpone it. Leave everything in order at home and leave someone with the children as you can appreciate yourself. And you must go there and I will send money in due course, either in one or two installments, as I will be able to manage. Further, what can I write you, I have not got much time.


It is Erev Yomtov, a few days before Shavuot, and it is already time to daven and I cannot write, so a shorter letter will have to suffice, and if you will travel, write me every week because I also write every week and I never miss, like a frummer Yid lays tefillim, and my letters to you will be forwarded.

Please write me who is our son David’s rebbe, as he takes twenty roubles for a summer semester. It looks to me that this must be a lot of money in Russia, and that he is basing his fees because I am in Africa, and it is hard luck on Cape Town because she must suffer because of the Johannesburg fees. Please write me everything and I will reply to letter number seven in the next week. Be well and live well as your ever devoted husband wishes you, who is waiting impatiently for your good news, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents, my brothers and sister and mother-in-law and sister-in-law, all be well, and have a good Yomtov, From me your son and brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

And my brother Wolf, and my sisters Hinda and Chana, I greet you and can tell you that TG I am well and may I hear the same from you, I wish you much good fortune and blessings in business, From me your son and brother, who is striving to see you in a happy way, Tuvye Kretzmar


I also greet warmly my dear mother-in-law, the chaste and modest Neche, and my worthy brother-in-law Moishe Schochet, and his wife who is my sister Sarah, and their children, may they all be blessed, and also my brother-in-law, Aaron Morris, please write as soon as possible because I am very keen to know about you. I greet also my sister-in-law Chana Reza and I will answer double for what you …


Notes:

[i] Shavel, now Šiauliai, is the fourth largest city in Lithuania, German soldiers entered on June 26, 1941, and soon established a ghetto. They later murdered the Jews in the nearby Kužiai forest, reducing the Jewish population from 8,000 to 5000.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar