R’ Eliyahu Chaim b’Reb Klonymus Kalman Rosen z”l (1899, Poland – 1984, Jerusalem) was orphaned as a child and devoted himself to Torah study. At the age of 12, already respected for his knowledge and diligence, he discovered the teachings of Rebbe Nachman through an encounter with a Breslover chossid.
In later life R’ Eliyahu Chaim described how he was especially drawn to the Breslov practice of hisbodedus and the Rebbe’s emphasis on the study and practice of the shulchan aruch (Torah law) with no “chassidic variations”. He became a student of Reb Avraham Chazan z”l.
During the Stalin era, both R’ Eliyahu Chaim and fellow Breslover chassid, Rav Levi Yitzchak Bender z”l, risked their lives to save Jewish families from starvation. For their activities, they were arrested by the KGB in 1936 but miraculously escaped a death sentence. The night before his scheduled execution, R’ Eliyahu Chaim described how he davened for Hashem’s mercy as he never had before. He once told his students, “If only I could still have the same kavana (intention) in my tefilos (prayers) as I did that night.”
In 1937 R’ Eliyahu Chaim managed to flee the communist regime and immigrated to Eretz Yisrael where he co-founded the Central Breslov Yeshiva in Meah Shaarim, Jerusalem. He was respected as one of the leading elders of the Breslov community and, together with Rav Levi Yitzchak, headed the yeshiva until about 1983, when health issues arose. He passed away on the 20th of Kislev 5745 (December, 1984).