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Blog Archive

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.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Do we justice standing up for the siren in Israel for Yom Ha'Shoah

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, is commemorated remembering the 6 million that died with a moment of silence. Once that siren goes off, everything stops. People in cars get out and stand up, people stop what they are doing for these two minutes to remember the 6 million. Is this a Jewish custom?

The answer is no. Silent prayer and worship, including moments of silence practiced during other group activities have been practiced by Quakers for more than 300 years. In the Colonial period Pennsylvania Quakers and Lenape Native Americans worshiped silently together on several occasions.

Moments of silence have often been observed prior to football games with reasons for silences range from national and international tragedies, to the death of people connected to the sport or specific clubs. As we can see, not a very Jewish custom to say the least.

So what would be a better way to remember the 6 million? Many rabbinical authorities hold that the day for that would be the day that we remember all national tragedies, the 9th of Av (T'sha B'Av). Even if that is the case, what should we do during those two minutes that the sirens are going off?

One way would be to say Tehillim (Psalms) or to learn some Torah thought. If we just stand there...we don't really do anything for the 6 million. By saying Psalms or learning in their merit, we help their souls and help ourselves to commemorate their memory properly.

There is a time and place to remember them, and it should be done in a more Jewish way!