Dorfman, Reb Michel (1911-2006). Born near Kiev, Reb Michel became a Breslover Chassid in his early teens. He married the granddaughter of Reb Avraham Sternhartz. Escaping the Stalinist purges of the Ukraine, he settled in Moscow in the late 1930s where he survived the war, only to be exiled to Siberia for nearly seven years. After Stalin's death, he was given a reprieve and allowed to return to Moscow. Reb Michel was a key figure in maintaining the Breslov kibutz on Rosh HaShannah in Uman, which, even after Stalin, had to be done clandestinely as all religious gatherings remained prohibited.
|It was Reb
and self-sacrifice that eventually led to the lifting of the "iron
which prevented Breslover Chassidim from getting to Rebbe Nachman's
Even when visas were granted, the Russians only permitted tourists to
in Kiev and not Uman. Though he had a "record," having already spent
in Siberia, Reb Michel was still willing to place himself in great
in order to travel with American tourists (who had no visas) to Uman so
that he could show them the place where Rebbe Nachman was buried.
thanks to him and others who've emulated his self- sacrificing ways,
Russian authorities are permitting pilgrimages. Reb Michel was finally
allowed to settle in Israel in 1970, and he is currently the Rosh
of the Breslov Yeshivah in Jerusalem.
Reb Michel Dorfman was a student of Reb Avraham Sternhartz. Reb Avraham arrived in Jerusalem's Old City in 1936, where he was received and recognized as the outstanding Breslover elder of his generation. In 1940 he established the kibutz in Meron for Rosh HaShannah. Exiled from the Old City during the War of Independence in 1948, he was resettled in Katamon together with many other Breslover Chassidim. Among his disciples were a number of the major Breslover leaders of the past few decades, including: Reb Moshe and Reb Nachman Burstein, Reb Michel Dorfman, Reb Shmuel Horowitz (d.1973), Reb Gedaliah Aharon Koenig, Reb Zvi Aryeh Lippel (1903-1979), Reb Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld, Reb Shmuel Shapiro and Reb Yaakov Meir Shechter.
|Shiurim in Sippurei Maasios by R' Michel Dorfman in "Lashon Hakodesh"||This
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