Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Rosenfeld (1922-1978)

Today (the Eleventh of Kislev) is the yahrtzeit of Reb Tzvi Aryeh Rosenfeld, the man who is primarily responsible for bringing Breslov Chassidus to the English-speaking masses. A tremendous talmid chochom, Rabbi Rosenfeld grew up in Brooklyn, where he went to the famed yeshivas Chaim Berlin and Torah VoDa'as.

Rabbi Rosenfeld was ordained at an early age, and began involving himself in matters of the klal immediately, specifically with the goal of spreading Breslov and making it accessible to a new generation. Interestingly, Rabbi Rosenfeld ordained many young Rabbis, including Rabbi Meir Kahane and his brother. Among his foremost disciples was Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan OBM and Rabbi Chaim Kramer (head of the Breslov Research Institute), his son-in-law. He recorded countless hours of lectures on Breslov Torah which are available on the BRI website, and his contribution to the American Jewish community is immeasurable.

Although he died long before I was born, I still feel the impact he made. If not for his endeavors - carried on by his son-in-law and other students - I don't know where I would be. Their efforts to translate certain staples in Breslov Chassidus allows those who may be initially discouraged or unable to decipher the depths of the sifrei Breslov and continue on their spiritual journey...

Z'chuso Yagein Aleinu.

For more information about Rabbi Rosenfeld, click here.

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