In the Torah, dreams changed people, and they also changed the world.
In contemporary society, dreams are often undervalued, with any guidance we might glean from them going unheeded and unexplored. In this well-researched but disjointed and occasionally rambling presentation, Kamenetz, bestselling author of The Jew in the Lotus, explores the Jewish history and mystical quality of dreams. His thesis is not that we should try to interpret our dreams, for interpretation is bound to and colored by Western culture. Interpretations can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Dreams should, instead, be allowed to interpret us, to reveal truths about ourselves, including truths that hurt, the author asserts.
The History of Last Night’s Dream is a first-person narrative, a strange combination of intellectualism and New Age rhetoric filled with lengthy descriptions of Kamenetz’s encounters with various dream gurus, including a postman-turned-dream master in Vermont, an 87-year-old Kabbalist in Jerusalem, and a Buddhist dream teacher in Copenhagen.