Over at SF Signal, Larry Ketchersid interviews me about the Lamed Vav, writing difficult characters, Kabbalah, and other fiction books that use Jewish mythology that I’ve enjoyed. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Larry Ketchersid: What was your first exposure to the Lamed Vav? How were you first introduced to this part of Judaism?
Matthew Kressel:I was raised in a Conservative Jewish household, and at least in my branch of Judaism a lot of the mysticism was stripped out. It was more about reciting the prayers in the proper sequences and times, knowing what silverware to use with what meal, when I couldn’t eat leavened bread and when I had to fast. There wasn’t much analysis, just practice. So when my father, an attorney, lover of science and otherwise highly rational human being told me he believed in the Lamed Vav, I grew curious. He explained who and what they were, and I found the notion fascinating: anyone of us could be a hidden saint responsible for upholding the world. It was quite a role to aspire to, except aspiring to be a Lamed Vavnik automatically disqualifies you as being one. Their chief trait is humility. Of course after that I began to imagine who might be hidden saints among the people I knew.
You can read the full interview here.