Not often in Jewish history has there been a sage who shunned the limelight, held no official position, and maintained no academy, yet was recognized universally as one of the foremost leaders of his time. Such a man was Rabbi Avraham Yeshayah Karelitz, the Chazon Ish. This book paints the rich fabric upon which he worked and taught. It shows his warmth with little children, his compassion for troubled people from every background, his medical knowledge that astounded neurosurgeons and saved numerous lives, his strong leadership of the Torah community during pivotal moments before and after the founding of the State of Israel, his original and incisive insights into Torah perspectives. Today's vibrant, model Orthodox community of B'nai Brak is virtually his creation, for it was he who inspired and guided its builders and the roshei hayeshivah who shaped its character. He pioneered in interpreting and relating the laws of shemittah to modern agriculture and organizing its potential observers until today. Even the pride and dynamism of Israel's burgeoning yeshivah community is a product of his strong leadership during the years when its future hung in the balance. How does a frail man who craves his learning, his writing and his anonymity become the acknowledged leader of his people? What was there about a young unknown scholar that made such people as Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, and the Chofetz Chaim recognize him as the leader of the next generation? How does a retiring man become the dominant presence at countless meetings and deliberations? That man was the Chazon Ish, and Rabbi Shimon Finkelman captures his essence in this new biography.
by Rabbi Shimon Finkelman