Cape Town, 16 April, 1901

To my dearest wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my children, my sons David and Noah, and daughters Leah and Freda – they should be well and grow up in wealth and happiness.


Dearest wife, I have safely received your dear writing of the second March. I thank the Lord for His mercy in granting you good health. PG we should always receive good news, one from the other, all the time that we are separated. I from my side can also inform you that TG I am also keeping very well and happy. PG that my letter should find you well, too.


I am sending you in this letter £4 sterling, PG that you should enjoy it in good health, and if your money is used up already, you should shortly receive more money to be used in good health. May God grant me so much that I should not begrudge you as much as I can send. And I suppose that the Lord will send it to me. In the meantime, I don’t know what to write to you about business, as I myself don’t know what will be happening and if it will be good I will write you right away. PG in the meantime, also, one has to be patient and see what God will provide.


As to what you write me that I should do business with Chaim Blumson because he is doing good business, I can tell you that this is nonsense, but unfortunately I cannot tell you in writing. You would only be able to understand if I was to tell you personally. But I may not write about this. But, in brief, I can tell you that I cannot deal with him – because, for our people, sometimes it is before prayers, sometimes after a meat meal, and sometimes it is Shabbat (cum si, cum sa) (amol azei and amol azei) (meaning that Mr B is not very strict about his Yiddishkeit – referring to integrity, etc). So it is nonsense, God can give everybody in a good way according to his needs, and I have no more news to write, so I must close my writing.


I have asked before on many occasions to send me my brother’s address in Vitebsk [i], and I have not yet received it. So I am asking once again. Write me Zalman’s address. I will also be thankful for it. Be well and stay well, as it is the wish to you every time from your husband, who wishes you happiness and good fortune, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents, brothers and sister, mother-in-law and brother-in-law and family, sister-in-law and friends, I wish you all luck and blessings in all ways, from me, your son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar


To my friend, Moishe Yitzchak, Reb Yeshika ha Cohen, I enclose in this letter 227 (roubles) – with thanks, and I ask you please that you should tell Yisrael Yaacov that he should send me an account in detail how much I owe him (wiefel es kumt), he sends you five shillings and whatever is over you can give to Greentuch, and when he received an account he will send everything. From me, your brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar


Notes:

[i] Vitebsk is a city in northeast Belarus.The 1897 the Russian census found that 52% of its population was Jewish. Most of the Jews were murdered in the Vitebsk ghetto in a Nazi massacre in October, 1941.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar