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BLOG: Writers of the Lost Arc

What does a Kabbalist eat for breakfast?

Once upon a time, a person could easily make reference to a rabbi, maybe a rav, and maybe even a rebbe, but a kabbalist?

In Jerusalem, a kabbalist is as common as a plumber. Everyone knows what you’re talking about. In the holy city, the lexicon of magic, amulets and incantations are as real as the corner drugstore. You have a cold? Go to a kabbalist. You have a problem in religion? Go to a kabbalist. You want to marry a man? Go to a kabbalist, he’ll help you.

For the past seven plus years I’ve been swimming in kabbalists, collecting true tales from whoever visited with these mystic figures and rebbes.  Read More 
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How Far Will I Go to Get the Novel Cover I Want?

I ask my rabbi to be on the cover of my novel. I tell him I’m looking for a man in his mid forties or fifties, someone with a longish beard, in a black hat and coat. What I don’t tell him is, I also want a face suffused with Yiddishe angst, which is how I'd describe his face.

The rabbi is mellow enough to actually consider my request for a moment, then regretfully declines.

So I keep looking. The shul, the Kosher Konnection grocery store, the lines at Quick Check or Valley National Bank. There should be lots of faces like that where I live in Orthodox Passaic, but somehow it's not working. Maybe I'm getting too demanding. Now he should look vaguely mystical, and the next day I add on "slightly tortured," and “ironic.” And one last thing -- he should be at least five foot ten.  Read More 
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