Cape Town, Wednesday, 12 September, 1900
To my dearest wife and children, Be well and live in happiness, and to my sons David and Noah, and daughters Leah and Freda, may they be well and live in wealth and satisfaction.
Dearest wife, I have today received your letter. I am surprised it took so long to come, nearly five weeks, but in this it is not your fault. I thank you for your letter, I thank the Lord for granting us good health, and if God gives life and health then you can expect good news, and what else can I write you – when I note in your letter the sentiments you expressed then I get very depressed.
I can sense all your letters are written in a dark, depressed mood, full of pain and despondency. It is seldom that I see any sign of hope and cheerfulness, but always with one thought of despondency, and this depresses me more in my mood and hopes, as well as my health, with which to keep strength and hope. For this everyone can understand. What the impression can be, if you are walking around always full of worry and loneliness, and with a full longing heart, and on top of it still very patience. Under such a burden of such thoughts, even the most courageous man must bow down, especially to a weak woman. There is no one who can chase away these depressive thoughts.
I implore you, my dear wife, to look after your health and courage – don’t forget that your heart does not belong only to yourself – there is someone here who is intimately connected with you, you gave your heart to one other, who took it on a holy oath to be true to your heart and feelings and we will exist with this divine union and find solace one from the other, and together to be able to educate the next generation, in religion and humanity. And so all our souls are connected – and we must know how to keep up our strength and courage to fulfil our holy duties. I cannot expect from you that you should be objective as you are so far away and we are separated so far one from the other. One heart feeds the other and I know how much these thoughts cost me. But when I am alone sometimes I say to myself, ‘This is childish’ – as a little cheder boy longs for home and will not study. But nevertheless one must have a system, because after all, we are people with brains.
You saw very well how we suffered and nothing helped, and in the end we had to separate and I had to depart and today even though the times are bad I do not regret what I did. We must just be patient and not count the minutes as the time will become a burden and we will become impatient and walk around lonely and constantly find yourself lonely and despondent because it is a strain on the health and makes you old before your time – do not forget that we are still young and we hope PG to be happy and united in a happy life. So we have to be well and guard one’s health and not to draw old age upon ourselves. Like having the face of Pesach and the mood of Tisha B’Av. We have to be patient, alive and cheerful and beautiful. We will PG await better days in a new year. I can see lots of examples of people who in the beginning used to sleep in the streets and now they possess lots of assets and thus I am firmly hopeful that the good Lord will improve our lot in the new year. You on your part must pray in the Machzorand in the Tzeno Ureno (prayerbook for women in Yiddish) that God shall bring us together in a good way. And I will also pray the same in my prayers, and with God’s help it will come true. So I am closing my writing. I hope you will remember and fulfil my wish.
I wish you lots of luck in the new year, and the same for me – From me, your dear and loving husband, Tuvye Kretzmar
I greet cordially my dear parents and brothers and sisters, I wish you all a Shanah Tovah – a good and prosperous new year in everything you do. From me, your son and brother Tuvye Kretzmar
I greet also my dear mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and Moishe Schochet and his wife, my sister, and family – my brother-in-law, Aaron Morris, and my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, much good luck in the new year. From me, your son-in-law and brother-in-law and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar