Ariel Samson is just your run of the mill anomaly: a 20-something black Orthodox Jewish rabbi looking for love, figuring out life, and floating between at least two worlds.
Luckily, it gets worse.
Finding himself the spiritual leader of a dying synagogue, and accidentally falling into viral internet fame, Ariel is suddenly catapulted into a series of increasingly ridiculous conflicts with belligerent college students, estranged families, corrupt politicians, hippophilic coworkers, vindictive clergymen, and even attempted murder. (And also Christian hegemony, racism, anti-Semitism, toxic Hotepism, and white Jewish privilege. Because today ends in “y.”)
But all that’s the easy part.
Because whether Ariel knows it or not, he’s due for a breakthrough. Several, in fact. And he’s about to find out whether or not he’s strong enough to re-evaluate everything he thought he knew about himself, and own up to the things he didn’t.
Thought leader and provocateur MaNishtana turns his eye to fiction in this imaginative, semi-autobiographical novel, making Ariel Samson, Freelance Rabbi the most dazzling debut of an Orthodox black Jew born on a Sunday at 2:24AM in a Brooklyn hospital in 1982 that you will ever have the privilege of reading.
2018 Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award's Goldberg Award for Debut Fiction.