Fiction | September 01, 1984

This novel is the imaginative recreation of a year in the life of the 18th century storyteller and rabbi, Reb Nachman, great-grandson of the founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov.  Nachman’s stories are said to have influenced Franz Kafka and S.Y. Agnon, Israel’s Nobel laureate.  This episode takes place during a self-imposed exile from his hometown of Bratslav, as Reb Nachman is journeying to the land of Israel to seek Salvation and inner peace.

Excerpt:

Out under the open summer skies, Reb Nachman, the great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, goes into exile again.  Puffy clouds accented the arching blue.  The green of pines and clover swizzed before his eyes like velvet as he walked.  In front of him a large, yellow, spotted butterfly tasted a sunflower, and then flew to a mignionette.  He too moved like a butterfly.  Running away from sweets.  The dreams a worm in his soul.  They destroy by night everything I achieve by day.

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