About Me

Rabbi Chaim Coffman
Rabbi Coffman has helped people from all across the spectrum to prepare themselves properly for Orthodox Conversion to Judaism. His students admire his vast knowledge and appreciate his warm, personal attention and endearing sense of humor.
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Welcome to Rabbi Chaim Coffman's Blog!

I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism.

The conversion process can be a lengthy and daunting one to say the least and I want you to know that I am here to help you through it.

I have been teaching newcomers to Judaism for over a decade and over the last few years I have seen that conversion candidates really lack the support and knowledge they need to navigate the conversion process and successfully integrate into the Orthodox Jewish community.

I created my mentorship program in order to help make this whole experience as smooth and as painless as possible! (Can't do much about the growing pains, though ;)

Feel free to get to know me a little through the posts on my blog and visit the mentorship and syllabus page if you are interested in possible joining us.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your search for truth and spiritual growth.

Looking forward to meeting you,
Chaim Coffman

My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sternbuch

In case you were wondering why I have all of these articles written by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, he is my Rebbe, and one of the gedolei hador (greatest Rabbis of our generation).

Rav Sternbuch fully endorses me and supports my mentorship program.

He is the address for all of my halachic or hashkafic (practical and philosophical) questions that I or my students may have.

The articles are based on his weekly talks on the Torah portion that the Rav gives in Jerusalem in his kollel. As a member of the kollel I get first dibbs on the photocopies and I type them up for my blog so you can all benefit from the Rav's erudition and insight.
Saturday, September 17, 2011


By Rav Moshe Sternbuch

Question: Many significant events have taken place in the world over the past few years, and especially the last months, including natural disasters, such as earthquakes,hurricanes and tsunamis, in addition to political upheavals in Arab countries. Thousands of missiles have been shot at Israel, yet very few caused signifi cant damage. In a short time, the UN will be voting to establish a Palestinian state in Israel, which could legitimize many of the terror acts they commit, and Heaven forbid even worse. Can the Rov give me some insight into what is going on and what we should be doing about the situation?Thank you.
Dr. Binyamin Surovsky

Answer: Hashem is calling out to us to come back to Him. If we take heed of His calls, we will be privileged to see the final redemption quickly. However, if we do not listen, then we could see His wrath unleashed and, chas veshalom, a great disaster could take place.


Over the past few years, we have seen many natural disasters and frequent open miracles. Countless missiles, which have the ability to cause mass destruction, have instead fallen into open areas. The Arabs admit that they are trying to destroy us, but the Almighty is not allowing them to do so. During World War II, when England was being bombarded with missiles, Rav Sternbuch’s rosh yeshiva, Rav Moshe Shneider,
repeated often that “Every bomb has an address.” Hashem sets up every missile for a specific reason. If it miraculously does not cause damage, the point of the missile is to wake us up from our slumber and bring us to a greater recognition of His existence and absolute power.

We might argue that since these occurrences are taking place so frequently, it is difficult to perceive them as Hashem’s Hand and miraculous. There is no basis for this claim. When the Almighty performs special acts of kindness for us, we are obligated to think about them and use them to elevate our Divine service. Both the religious and non-religious media admit that miracles are taking place daily.

Yet, there is a major defi ciency in the reporting of these events. None of them are telling us that we are meant to be changing our lives as a result of these occurrences. How can the media report that miracles are taking place, yet make no mention of the impact that these events are meant to have on our lives? What is the source of the lack of recognition of the seriousness of what is taking place around us? To answer these questions, we must study what the Torah writes about destroying the nation of Amaleik and see how it applies to our current situation.


When commanding us to completely annihilate every trace of Amaleik, the Torah writes about this evil nation that “they did not fear Elokim” (Devorim 25:18). There are so many negative things to say about Amaleik. Why does the Torah focus on the fact that they did not fear Hashem, seemingly a
minor fault?

In truth, there is great depth in this description of Amaleik. The Torah reveals to us the root of Amaleik’s evil ways. Their total lack of Divine fear brought them to totally ignore all of the miracles that Hashem performed for the Jewish people and, in turn, wage war against the Almighty and His chosen nation.

We can see an example of Amaleik’s world outlook from a story involving Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg zt”l, one of the gedolim in Germany and author of the Seridei Aish. Rav Weinberg attended a meeting of secular non-Jewish and Jewish professors who got together to discuss the authorship of the Torah, and their conclusion was that while the Torah was far too complex to be man-made, they were not ready to attribute it to a Divine Source that they knew nothing about.

Like Amaleik, they refused to admit Hashem’s involvement in the world.If we can witness the natural disasters and miracles that are taking place today without making any change in our daily routine, we are also afflicted with a lack of yiras Elokim (fear of G-d).We should think about everything that happens and use these signals as an impetus to raise our perception and recognize Hashem more clearly in our personal lives. If we do not, we are showing that the influence of Amaleik has crept in our lives and caused us to be unresponsive to Hashem's actions done specifically for that purpose.

Arousing Divine Anger

What happens if we do not think about everything that is going on around us? What will be if we just live as if nothing extraordinary is taking place? The Medrash in Tehillim brings an analogy to answer this question.

A king once made an elaborate banquet. To his great dismay, no one turned up to the affair. As he awaited his guests alone in his grand dining room, the monarch was filled with anger and was ready to issue a harsh decree against his subjects.

The king was just about to act when a few beloved subjects turned up to his banquet. He was pacified and decided to forego his decree. Said the king, "Because you came, you saved everyone from punishment."

So too, though the many miracles that we have witnessed, we have been invited by the King and He awaits our presence. Yet, many people still fail to "show up" to see His Hand in all of the recent events that have taken place. Those loyal subjects of the King who do take the time and effort to think about what is transpiring give tremendous satisfaction to Hashem and can bring salvation to all of Klal Yisrael.

A Knock at the Door

"My beloved is knocking, saying,'Open up the door my sister, my love…"(Shir Hashirim 5:2) Everything that is taking place in the world today is a knock on the door from the Almighty. What will happen if we do not respond to these knocks on the door?

What would happen if an important person were to come and visit us and we would leave him outside knocking on the door? Surely there could be no greater insult to someone of stature than to ignore his calls. All the more so in regards to Hashem, Who is the King of kings.

All of the disasters, missiles, uprisings and the looming Palestinian statehood are Hashem's knocks on the door. If we take heed of His beckoning, then we will merit seeing the final redemption quickly. However, if we ignore His calls, the we could experience His full wrath, Rachmana litzlan (G-d forbid).

Now, during the remaining days of Elul and the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah (ten days of repentance), is the time to think about our lives. If we make even the smallest changes, then we can expect the gray clouds that loom over us to dispel and that 5772will be a year of great blessing. Let us all take the time to answer these calls and to do teshuvah during this most auspicious time.