Malmesbury, Yom Alef Shiftem (about one month before Rosh Hashanah), 29 August , 1902

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, amen.


My dear wife – I have received your letter of 18 July and I have read it several times. Although it is written clear and explicit, it is sharp and pointed, pleasant and modest on your side – and you are right and I am wrong. I have not written during week business – no parnasse (earnings) and no business and nothing to do, so what could I do? Sing a song? So that somebody could fall asleep? In a good and sweet sleep? But my heart was broken, and I had to force myself to write, and so you do it once or twice but no more. Afterwards, I sent you £3 twice, altogether £6. It was not possible to send more.


You need not doubt my devotion to you – and you need not ask. My devotion is steadfast and I have duties. There is a big difference, I can tell you as God is alive – my heart and feeling remains the same. Although sometimes you don’t think so. It is because we live under circumstances when we have to doubt sometimes. I can’t prove my feelings to you – so sometimes you have your doubts about me, and I don’t blame you, but my feelings are the same. I am always true to you, and I don’t deserve it. There is nothing I can do about it. (Until now there is nothing that one should want.) And perhaps it was all a mistake – and from now on, may God grant us success and everything will come right.


We are facing a new year, with wishes for a good and happy new year. I hope that He will grant us a good year together, with all Israel, amen.


Included in this letter is a draft for £5. You can use it as you need. Please tell me how you stand with your debts, and I’ll ask you a favour – when you receive the £5, you should get a photograph of yourself and the children. Please send two copies – if there is a photographer in Shimberg, it will be all right. And if you can’t do it in Shimberg, you should go to Birzh with the children, David and Noah on your right, and the girls on your left, and they must be full figures. See that you do it because I want to see you urgently. But one side can’t be heard, and I hope that from now on there will be peace, with the help of the Lord, in the hope for a good new year. I am closing this letter. Keep well and happy, as is the wish of your devoted husband, who is wishing you a happy new year, amongst klal yisrael, Tuvye Kretzmar


Please see to it that I get the photographs in your next letter.


To my dear father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my modest mother, Beile, and my brother, Yaacov Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana. My dear parents, I greet you cordially and I wish you much luck with the help of God – from now on, may we have the beginning of a new world – I am wishing you all a happy new year, together with all Israel. From me, your son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear mother-in-law, modest Neche, and my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, and their children – may they all be blessed. I cordially greet my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, be well and happy and have a good Yomtov, as is the wish of your dear son-in-law and brother-in-law and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar