I need to find an English translation of Nefesh Hachaim. Preferably one that is gratis on the World Wide Web. Thanks!


I don't think you will find it online for free, but Nefesh Hachaim By Rav Chaim of Volozhin Translated by: Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Finkel is very good. He does not translate some of the kabbalistic ideas though.

  • 1
    Does there exist one online that is not free? – Adam Mosheh May 4 '12 at 16:14
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    He does translate most of the Kabbalistic ideas though. – Adam Mosheh Jul 2 '12 at 19:02
  • Amazon link: amazon.com/dp/1607630214 – Lee Jan 24 '16 at 13:08
  • @AdamMosheh It appears there is a Kindle version available and Amazon's Kindle app is available for both desktop or mobile devices. – Lee Jan 24 '16 at 13:10

There is now a complete English translation:



Fraenkel, Avinoam (trans./comm.) Nefesh HaTzimtzum: Rabbi Cahim Volozhin’s Nefesh HaChaim with Translation and Commentary, two volumes (Jerusalem – New York: Urim Publications, 2015). This edition provides the complete Nefesh HaChaim in English and Hebrew, along with a wealth of supplementary material, including a “deeply Kabbalistic” tract by Rabbi Yitzchak, Rabbi Chaim’s son, known by the title Maamar BeTzeLeM, DISCOURSE ON THE IMAGE.

The two-volume set can be purchased for about $60 (e.g., at Z Berman, Seforim Center, or Urim Publications). Alas, no free sources discovered so far.

  • Please show the correct link and if it is a free web translation or if it is a copy to be purchased. – sabbahillel Jan 24 '16 at 2:32
  • Hello sabbahillel - please note the addition re Nefesh haHayyim. – Don Karr Jan 24 '16 at 12:52

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