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Nefesh HaTzimtzum Volume 2

Volume 2: Understanding Nefesh HaChaim through the Key Concept of Tzimtzum

By Avinoam Fraenkel

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Buy Both Volumes For Only $60.00

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 companion volume presents a number of important concepts, including the concept of Tzitmzum, which together enable the true depth of Nefesh HaChaim to be understood. It also adds valuable insight by providing the full Hebrew text and translation of all of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin’s published writings which are related to Nefesh HaChaim. Additional related writings are also included together with detailed outlines and a full index for both volumes.

Avinoam Fraenkel received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. He is also a hi-tech professional, providing business management software solutions.


“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


"Nefesh HaTzimtzum" is published in two volumes which are sold separately.

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Additional Info

Additional Info

ISBN 9789655241778
Pages 757 pages (includes indexes)
Format Hardcover
SKU ktav2602
Publisher Urim Publications