Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reb Michel Dorfman ZY"A

(Picture courtesy of Breslov.com)

The yartzeit of Reb Yechiel Michel Dorfman ZY”A (1911-2006) is 5 Av. He was one of the leaders of Breslov in recent times. (You can read about him here.) This is interesting, considering that I am told that he was a descendant of the Shpola Zaide ZY”A, who opposed Reb Nachman ZY"A. I had the merit of having Reb Michel do a Pidyon Nefesh for myself, many times on Erev Rosh Hoshona in Uman, including his last year. (This is tzedaka given to a tzadik, who reads a special tefila for the petitioner and his family. This is customarily done Erev Rosh Hashona. See Sichos HaRan 214.) When many of the Breslover gedolim of the previous generation would give shiurim on Likutei Mohoran, it was assumed that everyone was familiar with the material. Many times they would tell stories of tzadikim and explain why they did particular actions based on Likutei Mohran. This reminds me of a story I saw about Reb Michel Dorfman, which showed that Likutei Mohoran wasn’t just a sefer that he learnt, rather he lived by it.

In 1979, the Tzion of Reb Nachman of Breslov was in danger of being destroyed by the Russian government in order to build more housing. Reb Michel and yblch’t Reb Noson Maimon shlita came to the USA to get the American government to intercede and save the Tzion. One of their stops was to get a brocha from the famed posek hador and tzadik, Reb Moshe Feinstein ZY”A. Since Reb Moshe was not well at the time, they were told that they could speak to him for several minutes after shachris, while he put away his tefilin.

Reb Michel told Reb Moshe the situation and then said that Reb Nachman says ( Likutei Mohoran 2, 41) that miracles and the altering of nature can come about through “poskim”. Since Reb Moshe was one of the greatest poskim of the generation he should bless them that would be successful and that the decree should be annulled. Reb Moshe asked if there was a possibility of bringing Reb Nachman to Eretz Yisroel. Reb Michel responded that Reb Noson of Breslov said that the Rebbe insisted on being buried specifically in that place because there are 30, 000 martyrs buried there, and that this place was prepared for him from the “six days of creation”. Reb Moshe responded: “I bless you that the true desire of the ‘Rebbe Hakodosh’ should be fulfilled”.

They were very satisfied with his words and retreated to the middle of the Beis Medrash. Reb Moshe walked to the door with several assistants and then turned around and walked back to Reb Michel and with a beaming face and said: “I bless you that the desire of the ‘tzadik hakodosh’ should be fulfilled. After this, Reb Michel was in a such great state of joy. He turned to Reb Noson Maimon and said: “There is no doubt that we will be successful in our mission. If Reb Nachman says that poskim have the power to change nature – and Reb Moshe is defiantly in this category – then the will of the Rebbe will happen immediately”. Shortly after, the Russian government agreed to make Reb Nachman’s tzion a national shrine.

What we can learn from here is how someone believed full heartedly in the teachings of a tzadik and implemented them practically on a day to day basis. Zchuso Yogen Aleinu!

No comments: