Malmesbury, 27 October, 1903

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, to my dear children, sons David and Noah, and daughters Leah and Freda, may you all live and grow up in wealth and comfort, amen.


My dear wife, last week I received no letter. I don’t know the reason for it – as it is, it causes me a lot of heartache… but I can do nothing about it. I have to wait until God will reunite us in a good way, and that we should not need to write letters.

In the meantime, I can tell you the truth – that I am very restless. I have sent out a lot of money, and it will cost only a few pounds that you should behave like a person with sense and not be misled by women – or other clever persons. You can arrive at a goal, but you must not keep on dreaming and collect recommendations from all friends.


In the meantime, you can exchange this cheque and avoid applications for loans until you have made your travel arrangements, because one usually does a favour and does a mitzvah before leaving home. When the time comes for you to leave – you will have to wait until the loans are paid, which you won’t be able to count easily, and so you must make a stand. I’m asking you this because I am not at hand, and I ask you to look after affairs, because I remember before we arrived at the farm in Kelmiene and when we were starving for a kopek, we suddenly discovered your friend David Michael and he earned a mitzvah by obtaining a loan from Weber on a lieu. But incidentally, he decided that one should not be a fool. I reckon that you have not contacted them.


There are many such instances, so I ask you ‘please be careful’, and don’t waste your few roubles. Prepare yourself and travel with good luck and God will help. (There is a melamed – he is not a Gemarascholar, but he knows Hebrew and the Bible.)

I have brought the most important things – a good wardrobe and a few chairs, and further, when I receive a letter from you, I’ll buy other necessary things in Cape Town. You must see to do everything, exactly as I have asked you. All the books that I mention.


Further, I have no news – I am in good health TG and in good spirits. May God grant that my letter should also find you in good health and with good news.


Sales this month are medium. The previous month they were much better. At present, farmers are harvesting the summer crops and everybody is busy. I hope that soon business will improve and my sales will get better. I close my writing. I greet you and kiss you, from me, your faithful husband, who understands you and expects to see you, Tuvye Kretzmar

I greet cordially my dear father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my chaste and modest mother, Beile, and my dear brother, Yaacov, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana, may you all live well.


My dear parents… and if she runs short of expenses (funds), that you will help her. I hope that I will repay you all – for all the trouble you have taken all the time, but the misheeis (??) I am asking you as a present and I promise you that it will be the best and dearest present in my possession. And I hope that you will do me this favour, keep well and in good spirits, as is the wish of your dear son, who wishes you everything of the best, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my mother-in-law, Neche, and my dear brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, and the family, and my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, may you all live well – as is the wish of your son-in-law, brother-in-law, and brother, who wishes you all the best, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar