Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was a religious Jew responsive to the challenge of Jewish secularism; Franz Kafka, a thoroughly secular Jew who loved the paradoxical parables of hasidism. Their stories and their lives reflect deeply on one another. Each died tragically young of tuberculosis. And each, at the very end, asked a close friend to burn his books. In an era of digital books, what do their stories tell us about the deeper meaning of the written word for the people of the book?
Rodger Kamenetz is the author of The Jew in the Lotus and a winner of the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in New Orleans and works as a dream therapist. Burnt Books is his tenth book.
Susannah Heschel is Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. The recipient of many fellowships and awards, her scholarship encompasses feminism as well as religion.