At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden

A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land


While religion has fueled the often violent conflict plaguing the Holy Land, Yossi Klein Halevi wondered whether it could be a source of unity as well. To find the answer, this religious Israeli Jew began a two-year exploration to discover a common language with his Christian and Muslim neighbors. He followed their holiday cycles, befriended Christian monastics and Islamic mystics, and joined them in prayer in monasteries and mosques in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden traces that remarkable spiritual journey. Halevi candidly reveals how he fought to reconcile his own fears and anger as a Jew to relate to Christians and Muslims as fellow spiritual seekers. He chronicles the difficulty of overcoming multiple obstacles—theological, political, historical, and psychological—that separate believers of the three monotheistic faiths. And he introduces a diverse range of people attempting to reconcile the dichotomous heart of this sacred place—a struggle central to Israel, but which resonates for us all.


“Extraordinary and heartbreaking… [Halevi] brings us with him to stand at the gates of the garden, sensing the ways in which those who call themselves Abraham’s children might live together in some kind of humility and willingness to learn.״
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

“One of the most important spiritual memoirs of our time.”
Krista Tippett, host of the radio program, On Being

“[Halevi] writes with the sensibility and passion of a psalmist, creating beautiful images in luminous prose. A highly original work filled with sparks of holiness.”
New York Jewish Week