Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rabbi Leo Trepp

Rabbi Leo Trepp z”1 was an accomplished rabbi and writer.  He was born in Germany in 1913, and was forced to flee the country after the rise of the Nazis.   He died at the age of 97 in 2010.

In his The Complete Book of Jewish Observance, Rabbi Trepp introduces readers to Judaism, with an emphasis on halakah (although not to a rigorous degree) and keen attention drawn to the cycle of the seasons and Jewish holidays.  Rabbi Trepp is quick to point out that Jewish holidays are always related to certain seasons.  In this, he finds “pagan” antecedents to Jewish practice.  But Judaism gives such holidays an added historical dimension.  So, Passover has many images of Spring and the blooming of new life.  At the same time, it is about the ‘historical’ flight of the Jews from Egypt.

This book might be hard to find, but it is worth reading.  Rabbi Trepp provides a substantial overview of Judaism that adds depth and understanding for the curious reader.

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