Rodger Kamenetz (of The Jew in the Lotus fame) has written a book for Nextbook Press about the intersecting passions and existential worries of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and Franz Kafka. Nachman was one of Hasidism’s great spiritual leaders and Kafka, though he lived a secular life a century after Nachman, in his last years was very much taken by Jewish mysticism. In fact, as Kamenetz sees it, Kafka was a latter-day Nachman, and Nachman anticipated and even answered many of the questions Kafka raised in his fiction. Sound kind of supernatural-kooky? Not to Kamenetz. Then again, we’re talking about a man who begins a story like this:
For more, you’ll have to listen to Monday’s edition of Vox Tablet, in which Kamenetz finishes this tale, and tells others, to host Sara Ivry.