The book begins when Gershom describes a chilling, but ultimately positive encounter with a Norwegian woman who had come to him for a discussion, but the discussion slipped into talk of the Holocaust, which had always fascinated her. While this was going on the rabbi slipped into an altered state of consciousness and saw,almost superimposed upon the woman's body, the figure of a Holocaust victim. To avoid being uncritical, he tested her by asking her to repeat the words of a Jewish prayer, which she could recite by heart, even though she herself was not Jewish and had never learned it. She spoke of vague memories of being a Holocaust victim. This experience triggered Gershom's quest.
From then on he began to realize that this was not a freak, one-off event. Slowly, steadily a significant number of individuals approached him to discuss their nightmares about being taken away and murdered. A short article cannot do justice to the wide range of harrowing accounts, so to get the real flavour of them you must read the book. They detail a phenomenon so challenging to conventional science and psychology that it was suppressed by a conspiracy of silence until Gershom broke the chains.
Gershom is a serious scholar, you would expect nothing less from a rabbi, a wonderfully well-educated group of people from a community that prizes scholarship. He takes an open minded and critical approach to these claims. Of vital importance is that he shows where he is coming from, which many scholars do not, laying out the specific branch of Judaism into which he was ordained as rabbi. This is the hasidic [chasidic] branch. This enables him to state that he comes from a theological tradition that accepts reincarnation.
The strength of the book is that the author is open to a methodology wider than the exclusively psychological. His psychological method is primarily a response to the serendipitous discovery that befell him that winter's night. But rather than experiment he follows the path of gathering personal testimonies. This is a psychologically valid technique, but as he is a healer/therapist rather than a researcher he did not do follow up studies as Ian Stevenson, who also researched reincarnation, did. This is a methodological limitation to his work, but as he makes no absolute claims to proof or authority, and merely makes an inference as to the probable truth of reincarnation, there is no loss of credibility therefrom.
He draws widely and deeply from the well of rabbinical scholarship and integrates the scholarship into his book. He is open to the paranormal. A great quality of genuine scholars like Gershom is that they confront issues face-on without the intellectually disreputable malpractice of explaining away experiences that do not fit their preconceptions. That he was prepared to confront a new experience rather than merely brushing it off as an anomaly is to his credit, and without this openness the book would not have been written.