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Published in Hebrew more than 30 years ago by one of the previous century's most exceptional and revered Jewish thinkers, the long-awaited English translation of this brilliant philosophical essay on the nature of the relationship between man and God is an eloquent and intelligent effort. With an instructive introduction by scholars David Shatz and Reuven Ziegler, the translation remains loyal to the rabbi-author's melodious and meticulous style and makes this important work accessible to the English-speaking world. The essay draws upon the passionate imagery in the Song of Songs in which two lovers, long understood by Jewish commentators to refer to the love between God and the Jewish people, yearn and search for one another only to be thwarted at the last possible moment from their ultimate reunion by a curious withdrawal. Soloveitchik analyzes with genius this contradictory response in terms of the religious and philosophical nature of love and awe, mercy and justice, prophecy and related emotions and states of being. This cogent and rarified essay, like Soloveitchik's earlier work Halakhic Man, is certain to become indispensable to devotees and scholars of the man known to many as the Rav. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.