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Dov Elbaum

Nonfiction, 2014

INTO THE FULLNESS OF THE VOID is the spiritual autobiography of one of Israel’s leading cultural figures. Growing up in the ultra-orthodox Jerusalem community, Dov Elbaum was a prodigy who seemed destined for greatness in the world of Talmud study. But in his late teens, Elbaum dramatically broke away and set out into secular Israeli society.

In INTO THE FULLNESS OF THE VOID Elbaum seeks to understand what led to his decision, and its consequences. With the Kabbalah as his roadmap, Elbaum moves to the deep recesses of his self and his soul. The ultimate goal of his journey is “the Void,” a Kabbalistic space that precedes God’s creation of the world, and a psychological state that precedes our formation as individuals. It is a space of great vulnerability, but also of hope for renewal and rebirth.

This is an honest, revealing work, both deeply personal and strikingly universal

Rights Sold:

Israel, Am Oved; USA, Jewish Lights


“Brilliant, courageous and innovative.… Serves as a modern continuation of the literary and scholarly work of Martin Buber [and] follows in the footsteps of Abraham Joshua Heschel’s work.… Makes present and internalizes the ancient Kabbalistic perceptions in his personal life [and] creates a renewed understanding—both personal and spiritual—of a Jewish tradition that today non-Jews and non-Israelis worldwide are also fascinated by.” – Moshe Idel, Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“Join Dov Elbaum, one of Israel’s most creative thinkers, on a year-long spiritual journey, whose itinerary follows the map of the ten sefirot, the aspects of God’s personality. Reading along, you’ll soon find yourself on your own voyage of discovery.” – Daniel C. Matt, author, God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony Between Science and Spirituality, The Zohar: Annotated and Explained and the multi-volume annotated translation The Zohar: Pritzker Edition

“Elbaum, a relentless God-wrestler, shares his high and low states while teaching applied Kabbalah and the flow of the Jewish year. Will stimulate you ... to look deeply into your inner life.” – Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, author, Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer and Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice

“In the best of Jewish interpretive tradition ... illuminates not only the depth of the author’s inner life, but the wealth and complexity of Jewish religious experience through the generations.”  – Moshe Halbertal, Gruss Professor of Law, NYU School of Law, professor of Jewish thought and philosophy, Hebrew University; fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute

“Leads us on a powerful journey out of the void to ... the mysteries of faith and hope.... Articulates a deeply meaningful system of belief for the modern thinker struggling with the challenges of our tradition.” – Naamah Kelman-Ezrachi, dean, HUC-JIR’s Jerusalem School

“[From] one of the great Jewish visionaries of our time, [a] stunning and unique ... Kabbalistic map for all of our inner journeys.” – Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute; author, At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew’s Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land

 “Renders accessible engimatic Kabbalistic ideas, turning them into windows into the human soul. An intellectually rewarding and emotionally satisfying work.” – Micha Goodman, director, Ein Prat Academy for Leadership; author, Secrets of the Guide to the Perplexed

“A powerful, erudite meditation on faith, doubt, the nature of God. Dov Elbaum’s ability to harness traditional Jewish scholarship while making himself wholly vulnerable in his spiritual quest is both illuminating and deeply compelling.” – Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author, Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion; editor, The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism.

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