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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, April 15, 2013

The State of Israel: How do I look at it?

As Israel Independence Day approaches, what is the Torah approach to the state of Israel? There is no question, that the fact the state of Israel exists is nothing short of miraculous. At the same time, are we looking at a state of Jews or a Jewish state?

There is no question when one reads the Bible from cover to cover that Israel is the center focus of the Jewish people. Even after the Temple is destroyed and the people are exiled, the holiness of Jerusalem still remains. Not only that, in the post holocaust era, Israel is the strongest Torah learning center that exists in the world.

Even with that said, the state of Israel was founded as a place for the Jewish people to live like other nations of the world. The English have their country (England), the Portuguese have their country (Portugal), the Italians have their country (Italy)... Theodore Hertzel's idea was to get out of Europe and   away from all the pogroms so the Jews could live in their own state freely.

To him, he wanted to the Jewish state to be in Israel but he would have settled for Uganda or Argentina as well. He also was not interested in perpetuating European Jewry and their "antiquated" and "obsolete" laws; he wanted to make a secular Jewish state that had nothing to do with the Jewish religion.

Many look at the Jewish state as the beginning of the redemption and the coming of the Messiah and they believe that we should help and build up the state as much as possible. Others believe the we should not do that and wait for the Messiah to come to do all that.

One thing to keep in mind is that the goal of Torah is to change us and make us better people. We should live in communities and places that help us do that. Spiritually speaking, there is no greater place in the world than Israel. At the same time, we want to live like Jews, like the Torah wants us to and perpetuate its values.

if it would have been left to Hertzel and his people, Judaism would never have survived. Not only that, but the state had the ability to save Jews during the holocaust and they were not interested in bringing these "antiquated" Jews with their old customs and old world outlook.

That is why there is friction in Israel today between the Ultra-Orthodox and the secular Jews. The Ultra-Orthodox want to keep the Torah and pass it down and live their lives in the way G-d wants them to the best of their ability. The secular do not want others to tell them how to live...and want to live their lives "freely". With two opposite sides of the spectrum, we understand why there could be so much friction.

This is a way to possibly to look at the two sides of the state of Israel and how they are represented.