This is the first complete English translation of Rav Chayyim of Volozhin's Neffesh Ha-chayyim.
Rav Chayyim was the creator of the modern yeshiva and the primary student of the Vilna Gaon. He was a master of both the revealed and hidden Torah.
Section one is about the nature of the soul and man's role in creation. Section two is about prayer, its true nature as directed meditation and what prayer really does in the context of God's plan: bind the worlds together and nourish them from above. It also describes how the process of repentance operates in re-establishing one's connection to God. Section three is about the nature of God's presence in the world, reconciling unity and duality. The Chapters section between sections three and four addresses how the evil inclination strategizes to divert us. Section four is about the special nature of Torah and the importance of our involvement with it.
This translation is extensively footnoted and explains many of the text's kabbalistic concepts.
For reference, this book includes the complete 1837 Hebrew edition.
Current edition: Rev. 1.4 (January 2014)