The memoirs of Rabbi Levy
A new book on the memoirs of Rabbi Abraham Levy ‘A Rocky Road’ has been published this week.
Born into the 300-year-old Jewish community in Gibraltar, Rabbi Levy spent his early years, which coincided with the Second World War, on the island of Madeira before returning to Gibraltar.
Much of the book published by Halban Publishers is devoted to his family on the Rock. He is the brother of the late former Mayor of Gibraltar Momy Levy and the nephew of former Chief Minister of Gibraltar Sir Joshua Hassan.
A few years ago he was interviewed at the Gibunco Gibraltar Literary Festival by his young brother James Levy.
From an early age he was determined to be a rabbi. Rabbi Levy first went to a convent school, then a Jewish school, followed by a year with the Christian Brothers, before arriving at Carmel College in England. From the age of thirteen he spent some school holidays in Maida Vale and began to attend Lauderdale Road Synagogue. He went on to study for the rabbinate at Jews’ College and, after receiving his Rabbinical Diploma, Lauderdale Road was to be the base for his work for almost sixty years.
Over those many years he was the Spiritual Head of the Sephardim in the United Kingdom, has had enormous influence on Jewish life.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks describes the book as a wise and warm memoir from one of the great spiritual leaders and institution builders of Anglo-Jewry.
“Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy has been an outstanding embodiment of the classic Spanish-and-Portuguese Jewish tradition, a passionate voice for moderation in an age of extremes, and this lovely book is a reminder of how much that tradition still has to teach us about the combination of humanity and spirituality, openness and faith,” he says.
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem: The Biography says of the book that it is a wonderfully charming, intimate and interesting memoir of life at the very centre of the old Sephardic Jewish community in London by its hugely respected, long serving Rabbi Abraham Levy who not only has known many eminent and famous characters, described in the book, but also understands and enlightens the culture and faith of Judaism itself.