Nefesh HaTzimtzum Volume 1

Rabbi Chaim Volozhin’s Nefesh HaChaim with Translation and Commentary

By Avinoam Fraenkel

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 811 pages

ISBN: 9789655241655


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Buy Both Volumes for only $60.00 "Nefesh HaTzimtzum" is published in two volumes which are sold separately. Nefesh HaTzimtzum provides the single most comprehensive and accessible presentation of the teachings and worldview of the Vilna Gaon’s primary student, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin. It is focused on Rabbi Chaim’s magnum opus, Nefesh HaChaim, a work that has lain in almost total obscurity for nearly two centuries due to its deep Kabbalistic subject matter. "Nefesh HaTzimtzum" opens up the real depth of the ideas presented in Nefesh HaChaim together with all of Rabbi Chaim’s related writings, making them accessible to the public for the first time in any language. In addition to the complete English translation, "Nefesh HaTzimtzum" includes the full facing page Hebrew text of Nefesh HaChaim and many other writings by Rabbi Chaim, along with in-depth explanations, an informative historical overview, an easily consumable innovative presentation layout and a full index. After centuries of confusion, extensive clarification is provided of the central Kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum, or the secret of how an infinite God occupies a finite world. Most importantly, it unequivocally demonstrates that the key Kabbalists, including the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin and the Baal HaTanya, all unanimously agreed on the underlying principles of the concept of Tzimtzum and that contrary to widespread historical misunderstanding, there was no fundamental dispute about the philosophical principles of Judaism between the Hasidim and the Mitnagdim. Based on this, "Nefesh HaTzimtzum" shows that both Nefesh HaChaim and Sefer HaTanya present the same methodology for serving God which is rooted in their identical understanding of the concept of Tzimtzum. This volume contains the complete Hebrew text of Nefesh HaChaim which is brought to life by an illuminating translation and incisive commentary. It additionally provides extensive translated source material necessary to properly understand the basic text. The text is further complemented by an informative introduction which includes a historical overview. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Avinoam Fraenkel received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. He is also a hi-tech professional, providing business management software solutions. PRAISE FOR "NEFESH HATZIMTZUM" “Rav Fraenkel’s . . . translation and elucidation of the Nefesh HaChaim is outstanding.” –Rabbi Dovid Cohen “There is much pseudo-depth in this generation and it is a true pleasure and comfort to encounter a writer who invests maximal effort towards reaching the truth of the Torah and of wisdom.” –Professor Jonathan Garb “R. Avinoam Fraenkel . . . has proven at length . . . that everyone agrees that the concept of Tzimtzum is not to be understood literally . . . .” –Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Morgenstern “We owe Avinoam Fraenkel an immense debt of gratitude for a monumental labour of scholarship. Truly this is a work by which, at every level, we are enriched.” –Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks “Many will now begin to properly study this holy book [Nefesh HaChaim].” –Rabbi Hershel Schachter “Nefesh HaTzimtzum is a monumental work which truly explains the teachings and worldview of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin. . . . Avinoam amazingly dispels the confusion [about Tzimtzum] by explaining the historical factors and providing scholarly proof.” –Rabbi Moshe Schatz