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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.
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Parshas Acharei-Mos/Kedoshim: Don't Overindulge

The Ramban at the beginning of Parshas Kedoshim explains to us what it means to be holy. He tells us that while the Torah permits many things, these same things if they are overdone, is forbidden. This means while it is permissible to drink or eat, it is forbidden to be a drunk or a glutton. We can sanctify these things by making blessings over them and using them for our purpose.

We don't look at the world as everything being forbidden and terrible and that we have to separate ourselves from it. Just the opposite! The Torah tells us that not only are we part of this world, but we have to live in it and sanctify it. We have the holidays, Shabbos, fast get us in the proper mood but the Jewish people are here to show the world how to properly use this world!

Being an aesthetic is certainly not a Jewish concept. The idea, as the Ramchal tells us in Mesilas Yesharim (Path of the Just) of a person rolling around the snow in the freezing cold with very little clothing on does not make one righteous. That is not a way to work on our relationship with G-d.

Mankind is created from "this" world and has a soul that G-d breathed into us. That spiritual soul through the practice of the mitzvos allows us to sanctify the body and soul, making them a complete unit in their service to G-d.

This is not so easy since the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) wants us to go after our more base desires and stay away from the spiritual. There is a constant fight between the good and evil inclination but the only way we can beat the Yetzer Hara is through mitzah observance.

We have our good days and bad days in this epic battle as we show the world what the power of Torah is. We are allowed to use the world for our benefit but we are not allowed to abuse that which is permissible. An extreme in anything is not good, even if the thing itself is permissible.

The Torah must be kept under all circumstances and we must be vigilant in our meticulous mitzvah observance. At the same time, we must be part of this world and help ourselves become the great people that we can.