Rabbi Maimon received smicha (rabbinical ordination) from the Central Yeshiva of Chassidei Breslov in Meah Shaarim, Jerusalem. Originally from New York City, he was a close student of Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Rosenfeld ז”ל and eventually became his son-in-law. He was appointed Executive Director of the Breslov World Center in 1978 and has headed the Breslov Yeshiva’s English-speaking kollel since making aliyah to Jerusalem in 1987.
In 2008 he established www.BreslovTorah.com as an online resource center for students of Rebbe Nachman all over the world. Fluent in English, Yiddish and Hebrew, Rabbi Maimon translates and explains original texts in a practical, straightforward way. His knowledge is informed by decades of close apprenticeship to his teachers, Rabbi Rosenfeld and Rabbi Yechiel Michel Dorfman ז”ל. After Rabbi Dorfman’s passing in 2006, Rabbi Maimon consulted Rabbis Moshe and Nachman Burstein ז”ל.
Rabbi Maimon is recognized internationally as a dynamic teacher, compassionate listener, and experienced counselor who provides well-grounded applications of the teachings of Rebbe Nachman in contemporary life.
Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld (1922-1978) was an accomplished and deeply respected Breslov scholar who shared his Torah mastery with students in ways that transformed and uplifted their lives. Through exemplary self-sacrifice and dedication, he spear-headed the introduction of Breslov Chassidus to the English-speaking world. With smicha (rabbinical ordination) from Rav Avraham Yaffen ז”ל of the Beis Yosef Navardak Yeshiva, he later received additional smicha from prominent Breslov rabonim in Jerusalem, including Rav Avraham Sternhartz, Rav Eliyahu Chaim Rosen, Rav Levi Yitzchok Bender, and Rav Shmuel Shapiro ז”ל.
Rabbi Rosenfeld is a direct descendant of Rav Aharon Goldstein ז”ל, the Rav of Breslov during the lifetime of Rebbe Nachman. He is also a descendant of Rabbi Shmuel Yitzchak ז”ל, Rav of Tcherin. Both ancestors were among the most devoted followers of Rebbe Nachman. Rabbi Rosenfeld had the foresight to record many of his shiurim, entrusting the keys to the powerful wisdom of Rabbi Nachman’s teachings to future generations.
“Reb Michel” ז”ל (as he was known) (1913-2006) was a revered and much-beloved elder in the Breslov community worldwide. His father, Rav Yehoshua Dovid HaLevi הי”ד, was a leading Rabbi in the city of Chemirovitz, Kaminetz-Podolsk. Reb Michel was drawn to Breslov chassidus shortly after he became bar mitzvah. When he turned 17 his teacher, Rav Avraham Sternhartz ז”ל, suggested his granddaughter, Rivkah, as a wife. The couple married in Shevat, 1930.
Surviving extreme hardships in communist Russia, the Dorfmans raised a Torah-observant family and maintained trust in Hashem.
Even when Reb Michel was imprisoned in Siberia he never lost hope. For 38 years he and his wife were forbidden to leave Russia until finally, in 1971, they were granted exit visas. They flew straight to Eretz Yisrael.
In addition to being responsible for the Breslov Kollel in Meah She’arim from 1979, in 1989 Rav Levi Yitzchak Bender ז”ל appointed Rabbi Dorfman to lead the “Shul” in Meah She’arim. Reb Michel worked tirelessly. He raised funds for the community, taught, counseled, organized the yearly Rosh Hashanah kibbutz (gathering) in Uman, and led the daily netz (daybreak) minyan until his passing on the 5th of Av (yahrzeit of the ARIzal) at the age of 93.
Through tears, tefilos, and monumental self-sacrifice, Reb Michel Dorfman paved the way for the Uman-Rosh Hashanah kibbutz to reach its present dimensions. Even so, he insisted that every accomplishment was a miracle performed in his wife’s merit.
With gratitude to Hashem, through support of donors and students, Rabbi Nasan Maimon and his team are:
In 1979 the Soviets planned to destroy Rabbi Nachman’s grave in Uman to make way for a housing project. The leaders of the international Breslov community appointed Rabbi Michel Dorfman ז”ל as their spokesman to avert this threat. Reb Michel first went straight to the kosel where he begged, with heartfelt tears and prayers, for Divine intervention.
Then, although he spoke no English, Reb Michel immediately traveled to the U.S. where he enlisted Rabbi Nasan Maimon as his translator and close assistant. Together they solicited and received endorsements from HaRav Moshe Feinstein זצ”ל and other gedolei Torah.
The Satmar Rebbe, Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sherer, Rav Pinchas Teitz, and Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan all supported and contributed their wisdom and guidance to the mission. With their help, Rabbi Maimon was able to present the Jewish community’s petition to officials from the U.S. State Department and the Kremlin.
B”H the petition succeeded and the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman was preserved. This miracle also protected the nearby mass grave of some 30,000 Jewish martyrs of the Chmielnitsky massacres. As a direct result of these efforts blessed with success by Hashem, hundreds of thousands have been able to visit this holy site since that time. In 2011, Rabbi Nasan Maimon presented a five-part lecture series to document these events.
You can hear more about this topic via the media link below:
Rescue of Rabbi Nachman’s Gravesite