Malmesbury, Sunday August, 1903

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear 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 letter of last week and I thank you for it. I can inform you that TG I am feeling well and may this letter find you in a similar situation.


I am glad to inform you that from this month my sales have improved – they totalled about a hundred pounds. May God grant that it may be better next time… so that we need not be separated any more and we should be able to live like menschen… and to train the children in the proper Jewish way.

Further, I can write you that today I have arrived at something. I have cleaned the room – I have dusted the table and I have set everything in its place so that I can write comfortably. I am well and I am satisfied with the parnassah and I hope that in future it will be better still… for Yomtovim, whether it is the Exodus of Egypt or the granting of the Torah or Sukkot, because if you work very hard and you don’t get enough to pay for current expenses or the teacher and the rent, then it is the same as being in Egypt and there is no Shavuot and there is not Sukkot. 


At the moment, we are under a heavy cloud. In a sukkah, the shade must be greater than the light. In business, it’s just the other way around – you want more light than shade, as it is written, and the sun has been specially created – everything except darkness, and when one is depressed, then one does not feel like a human being. And when the sun begins to shine, everything looks beautiful. It is already 5:30 p.m. and it is already time to go to the minyan for mincha, and so I must finish this letter. Keep well and happy – may God grant that on a future Yomtov we will all be together with the children and we can all talk happily, and TG for His mercies. I wish you everything of the best, Tuvye Kretzmar


I heartily greet my dear parents, my father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my modest mother, Beile, and my brothers and sisters – I can’t write more because it is nearly Yomtov. I wish you all the best so that you may live in comfort and in conditions that you wish yourselves – your son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


I heartily greet my dear mother-in-law, the modest Neche, and my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, and their children, also my brother-in-law, Menachem Mendel Morris, and my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, and all relatives and friends who inquire about me, keep well and happy, as is the wish of your son-in-law, brother, and brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar