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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, May 2, 2013

Parshas Behar - Bechukosai The forbiddeness of Ribis and Lack of Faith of G-d

Leviticus 25:36 "Do not take usury from him or increase but fear G-d so your brother can live with you" According to the Kli Yakar, it is forbidden to lend someone money with interest because it is a lack of faith in G-d.  How can this be?

Normally a person who works, will turn their eyes to G-d for Heavenly help to help them with livelihood because there is no guarantee that they will be successful in their business.  Lending with interest, on the other hand, a person is guaranteed to make a profit and therefore does not need to rely on G-d to help him which is a lack of faith in Him. That is why this verse is brought in after the topic of Shemittah has been discussed since the purpose of the mitzvah of Shemittah is to have stronger belief in G-d.

There is a famous story with the Alshich that illustrates this point. Once he was speaking to the people of his city and told them that if they would dedicate all their time to learning Torah and working on themselves spiritually they would not have to worry about their livelihood because G-d would give them livelihood without them having to work for it!

When a simple wagon driver heard this, he decided that he was going tovdo just that! Immediately he stopped working  and went to the study hall to learn.  A few days later, he found a chest of gold that was able to support himself handsomely.

The students of the Alshich were astounded. They said that they also learn Torah and pray hard and they have not merited such heavenly help! The Alshich answered that the simpleness and pure faith of the wagon driver showed how clearly he believed with certainty about what the rav had said. G-d said He would help all those who dedicate themselves to learning Torah  and he had no doubt about it at all and therefore was rewarded from heaven!

You, my students on the other hand don't have as much faith as the simple wagon driver. Instead, you test G-d to see if He is going to help you and therefore it is not enough faith that G-d should send livelihood like He did with the simple wagon driver.

This teaches us a fundamental lesson about belief and faith in G-d and what G-d demands from us.

Good Shabbos