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.
Monday, March 4, 2013

Can a Conversion Ever be Revoked?

By Rabbi Chaim Coffman

After learning for many years, changing one's life, moving to a new community and finally finishing the conversion process and becoming a full-fledged Jew, how could that conversion be overturned? Was the conversion valid in the first place? Why could this happen?

Once a conversion candidate interviews with a beis din (rabbinical court) and they agree to work with them, the candidate is then off and running. Most beis din's will give the candidate books to read witha syllabus and hopefully set them up with a mentor that will be able to guide them.

The conversion candidate will be expected to follow the syllabus and learn the material and start implementing what halachos they learn in the areas of Shabbos, Yom Tov, Prayer, Kshrus and Blessings, After being in the community for at least a year and depending on the candidates level of learning and implementation, if the beis din feels the conversion candidate is ready then the beis din will convert them. If the beis din does not feel the candidate is ready, then it will take longer.

The day finally comes and the candidate is informed by the beis din that they are finished and ready for the mikveh to become a full-fledged Jew. After the conversion is done, this new Jew will continue learning and growing spiritually as was done before the conversion. If everything si done according to halacha, then there should be no problems after the conversion right?

While one is in the conversion process, one of the most important things is to make sure that the beis din you will go to will be recognized around the world. How does a convert candidate find out about these batei din? They will either find out through their mentor or their sponsoring rabbi.

Unfortunately what can happen is that either the new convert even many years later starts to slack off in mitzvah observance or gives up mitzvah observance altogether. The question that will then arise at that point is what happened during their conversion? Was it really valid in the first place? Who was the beis din that converted them?

This is how in one way a conversion can be questioned retroactively. Secondly, the beis din that did the conversion could have had some halachic issues when they did the conversion in the first place. this could have happened if one of the rabbis on the bies din is suspect or years later the beis din could have pmeritted things that maybe they should not have...

Another possible thing that could happen is that all beis din's do not have the same standards. While they should have and probably should coordinate between themselves, that is often not the case. This means that there may be different standards among the beis din's and may bring up questions about a person's conversion.

In any case, the situation is not an easy one and even if there is an issue, each candidate should be judged on theri own merit and not be judged by which beis din they came from since each case is different in and of themselves.