Frances, Editor, told me she had started reading a title from my 2009 Book List, Rodger Kamenetz’s, The History of Last Night’s Dream. I began to recall how that title came to be on my list.

My friend Jennifer gave the book to me when I was living in New Orleans.  Jennifer, born and raised in Louisiana, seemed to know everyone in town, including the author. Kamenetz is a full time English professor at Louisiana State University and a

part-time Jewish mystic. He began his search to understand dreams through a series of little adventures. 

After he studied with the Dalai Lama in Tibet, he wrote a book called A Jew in the Lotus which is a take off on the Buddhist writing, A Jewel in the Lotus.  His book was read and enjoyed by Morrie Schwartz who was made famous in Mitch Albom’s, Tuesdays with Morrie.  On his deathbed, Morrie asked for Rodger to come visit him.  This visit was the genesis of Rodger’s quest to study dreams.


New Orleans was flooded by Hurricane Katrina almost five years ago. The effect of the storm, including personal losses and the struggle to rebuild, dominated the actions and conversations of everyone I knew there.  I found it amusing that Rodger does not mention Katrina until the last sentence of his “Acknowledgements” at the end of the book. 

He included a little note to let others know that they were recovering well enough. There was none of the grief, over-whelming fatigue, frustration, or anger that typically accompanied people’s Katrina stories. 

            Kamenetz seems to see things differently than most everyone else.


Karen Louise (Feb.’10) adds, “Personally, I think it’s a very important book.”

* from the mar 2010 instructions files *

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