The Zimzum of Love

Dave Harvey | November 7, 2014

Rob and Kristen Bell. The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage. New York: HarperCollins, 2014. 160 pp. $24.99.

Let’s begin by giving Rob Bell his props. The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage (co-written with his wife, Kristen) is an innovative work. It’s hard to build a book around the word zimzum and not be tagged as racing down the road less traveled. Zimzum, by the way, is a Hebrew word unearthed by the Bells from some arcane rabbinic literature. “God had to contract or withdraw from a certain space so that something else, something other than God, could exist and thrive in that space,” they explain. “And the word a rabbi from the 16th century used for this divine contraction is zimzum(18). They do not explain why God’s omnipresence is displaced by the things he created. 

In marriage, zimzum is the space you create for your spouse to thrive. It releases energy “generating the flow that is the lifeblood of marriage” (19). If you want a strong marriage, you work to strengthen your zimzum and increase the energy flow between you and your spouse. Those with failing marriages have neglected their…

To read the rest of this article, visit