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. ""Justin David's probing reflections on longing are about humility and the limits of reason. With an erudition that is at once generous and insightful, he shows us that absence is presence, darkness is light, and emptiness is fullness. No matter where we find ourselves in life, the quest is always a work in progress."" --Ilan Stavans, Author of On Borrowed Words; Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture, Amherst College ""With unusual candor and an expansive heart, Justin David takes us on a personal journey of loss, searching, and longing. And beyond his eloquent exploration of loss in our lives and our longing for closeness with the divine, he gives us a map enabling us to travel to the very depths of our feelings and emerge stronger, clearer, and spiritually renewed."" --Andrea Ayvayzian, Pastor, United Church of Christ; Founder of the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership ""An unblinking exploration of heartbreaking personal narrative and a broad selection of classic Jewish texts and thought as creatively read each through the lens of the other. A sustained, synthetic reflection that tells a deep story of healing and Jewish meaning-making."" -- Nancy Flam, Rabbi, Senior Program Director, Institute for Jewish Spirituality ""Justin David is a true sage, as he demonstrates in this heartbreaking and luminous meditation. . . . By absorbing so much wisdom and teaching his lessons to us, Justin challenges us to be as searching as his own mind and spirit are. Those who learn along with Justin in this book will be challenged to explore the stories of their own lives."" --Jeremy Kalmanosfky, Rabbi, Ansche Chesed, New York City Justin David is Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Northampton, MA. He has published numerous articles and essays on Jewish thought, social justice, and spiritual comfort.