Why did The Chofetz Chaim give a blessing to a priest?
Why did 2,000 secular kibbutzniks pay tribute to a 100 year old rabbi?
How did a mischievous boy cement a friendship with R' Aharon Kotler?
How did that same boy parlay eggs and herring into a yeshiva education?
The Night is Not Dark tells the story of Yitzchak Bernstein, a young boy, an ilui with a well-developed streak of mischief - and of the gedolim of Europe who took him in, taught him, disciplined him and loved him.
Yitzchak'l Bernstein left home at age 7 to become a yeshiva bachur. He learned b'chavrusa with R' Yisrael Gustman, satisfied Rav Shimon Shkop's exacting standards, was accepted as a student of R' Elchonon Wasserman in Baranovitz, and was nursed back to health by Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky - all before his bar mitzvah. When the Polish army came to draft him, it was Rav Leizer Yudel Finkel who interceded to keep him safe.
In The Night is Not Dark we journey down the streets of Baranovitch, the lanes of Grodno, and the cobbled pathways of Mir. We meet the great roshei yeshiva of Europe, some still unknown lamdanim toiling at their gemaras, others in their prime. More than the story of one precocious boy, this book evokes the rhythms and lives of pre-war Europe, the great men and the simple ones, the triumphs and the tragedies of the Jewish people.