Cape Town, Chol Hamoed Pesach, April, 1901

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


Dearest wife, I have safely received Erev Pesach your letter you wrote on Purim. I cannot convey to you my joy when I received your letter with the news about your wellbeing. I thank the Lord for His mercy that He grants us health – may He always grant us good health and prosperity and to hear good news, one from the other, all the time that we are separated, and to enjoy a happy life together when God in His mercy will reunite us. Amen. I can tell you that TG I am well and happy.


You should acquire some clothes for Yomtov, as much as possible. God grant that you can use it in good health, and that my letter should find you and the children in good health. I can write to you that I have never calculated or foreseen what our correspondence would look like. But alas it is to be regretted how the situation has developed: at the same time that I am writing to you in Purim here in Cape Town, you are writing to me also in Purim in your loneliness. And your writing confirms the thought how far we are from each other, and how much water there is between us, and yet we are very close emotionally and spiritually, as no one can force anybody to think in a certain way. (They are on the same wavelength.) So let us hope that God will one day bring us salvation from this correspondence, and we should be able to express our thoughts face to face, amen.


Further, I have no news of special content to write you now. There is no business on Yomtov and we will see what the Lord will grant us after Pesach. In the meantime, it is Yomtov. We celebrated the sederim as required and also prayed as necessary in the hope that God will grant us parnasse a living as much as we need.


I hope next week PG to send out some money as much as possible, as I know full well that you have to pay school fees and other things that are necessary and I can reply to it with a few roubles, but I cannot always do it as I would want. So you have had to wait. But when the Lord will provide everything all will come right.


I am surprised that I have not received any news or letter from my brother Eliayu Zalman Kretzmar. Have I transgressed so much that I should not get a gerusfrom him? I am not talking of a letter because I have not got his address, I cannot expect a letter from him. At least I should hear from you about him. Please write to me how he finds himself. I suppose that you must have letters from him. So please send me some of his letters. I excuse myself as I close my writing this time – so be well and stay well and in happiness, as is the only wish of your devoted and true husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents, my father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my modest and chaste mother, Beile, and my dear brother, Yaacov, and my dear sisters, Hinda and Chana, I also greet my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, may you all be blessed with all the best, amen.

I greet cordially my mother-in-law, the chaste Neche, and my brother-in-law, Aaron Morris, and my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, may you all live happily and well, as is the only wish of your true son and brother-in-law and son-in-law who wishes you all the best, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar