Nahman was born on February 20, 1932 in Jerusalem to Hayim Yosef and Haya née Weingarten. Both of his parents were descendants of the Old Yishuv in Jerusalem, from a Haredi background. Nahman was a ninth-generation resident of the Land of Israel, with his forebears coming from Hebron, Gaza, Acre and Jerusalem. On his father’s side, he could trace his lineage back to the great Rabbi Hayim Yosef David Azalai; to Rabbi Avraham Azulai, who made aliyah from Castile to Hebron, where he was buried, 420 years earlier; and Rabbi Yehuda Zerahiah Azulai, rabbi of Acre, whose grave is in Kafr Yassif. He also was descended from the Hebronite Yafeh family. His mother was of the family of Rabbi David Weingarten, who established, during World War I, Beit Weingarten, which exists to this day in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood. Nahman’s father cultivated a pure type of etrog, which was exported throughout the Diaspora. The family lived in Geula, consisting of three boys and two girls. Nahman studied both in Yavneh Religious School and Yeshivat Hebron.
The general environment of his world, both in yeshiva and in his society, inspired him to join the fight against the British. Influenced by a small group in the yeshiva, including S. Ben-Pazi, David Biala, future Deputy Minister and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Avraham Ravitz and others, he joined Lehi in 1946 at age fourteen. His big brother Shimon was in the Hagana, while his other brother Yehiel was in the IZL (injured in the War of Independence on Mt. Zion), and his brother-in-law, N. Horowitz, was active in the IZL (and detained in Latrun).
His family had suspicions, but Nahman managed to keep the secret. In Lehi, he was a “journalist,” which meant that he posted HaMaas at night and in the early morning and he distributed the newspaper. This was dangerous, especially after the murder of Alexander Rubowitz. He also had ideological meetings and was active in the youth class at Camp Yoav in Upper Lifta, as support for the combat troops, including in the operation to break through the gate. After the Bernadotte assassination and the disbanding of Camp Yoav, Nahman went back to study in yeshiva. He could not join the IDF during the War of Independence because he was too young.
After completing his studies in yeshiva, he enlisted in the IDF, continuing in permanent service. He was discharged and retired in the early 1990s with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1961, he married Yaffa Golovenchick, a Jerusalem native, now a pensioner teacher. They had six children.
Nahman devotes more time to his family now, which he could not do when he was serving in the IDF. He also volunteers in the community and is part of the management of the Kehillat Jerusalem Burial Society.