Longing is a universal human experience, born of the inevitable gulf between dream and reality, what we need and what we have. While the experience of longing may arise from loss or the awareness of a void in one's life, it may also become a powerful engine of spiritual growth, prompting one to draw closer to the hidden yet present “Other.”
Across the range of Jewish teachings, longing takes center stage in one's spiritual life. From the Bible through current frontiers in Jewish belief and practice, God is both known and unknown, immediate and remote, present and in constant eclipse.
This book captures the sense of longing in Jewish tradition by creating a dialogue between the author's own struggles with an estranged father and a wide range of traditional and contemporary sources. Focusing on the story of the Hebrew prophet Elisha, the book takes the reader through a journey of abandonment, creative destruction, and ultimately repair and healing, engaging with currents in biblical theology, rabbinic thought, Kabbalah, and contemporary Jewish philosophy. Written in a familiar yet probing style, this book is an accessible introduction to Jewish thought and spirituality as well as a thoughtful companion for more experienced students.