Yehoshua Bar-Yosef (1912-1992) was born into a religious family in Safed, a city renowned as a center for Jewish mysticism. After World War I, he studied in a yeshiva in Transylvania but returned from Europe to live in Jerusalem. He later broke from religious tradition and found work as a journalist and editor. His epic novel chronicling the conflict between tradition and modernity in Safed, Magic City [Ir Ksumah], was published in 1949. Bar-Yosef’s stories, novellas, novels, and plays earned him critical acclaim and numerous awards, including Israel’s prestigious Bialik Prize (1984). Soul Mate, the novella from which the excerpt in WWB was taken, was published by Siman Kriah/HaKibbutz HaMeuchad in 1979.