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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.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Parshas Shelach: The Sin of the Spies

It is very hard to understand the sin of the spies. After all, they saw G-d face-to-face at Mt. Sinai (at least for the first two of the Ten Commandments), witnessed the miracles of plagues in Egypt and became the first nation to ever escape their clutches. How could they have thought that G-d would not help them in overcoming the nations in the land of Israel?

Rav Moshe Feinstein in Derash Moshe tells us that the generation of the wilderness lacked proper faith in G-d. The reason is because when they witnessed all the miracle, they did not stamp that experience on their hearts making it their reality. This means that seeing the miracles was not enough; they had to live them.

They believed that the miracles could have occurred for them against Pharaoh, but who said that the same miracles will take place against the thirty-one nations, whom they did not see and believed that G-d could not overcome them. This also occurred when G-d gave them meat in the desert with the manna.

The Jewish people did not see such an overabundance that they would have so much leftover and would not have to worry. They received enough but who was to say that they would receive more and more...

The thought process of the Jewish people was how long can the miracles last? After all, we got manna yesterday, the day before, the day before that...and they even received a double portion every erev shabbos. They themselves didn't believe that they were worthy or could sustain themselves for such a long period of time on this type of faith.

This is what G-d wanted. He tested their endurance through faith-training. This training which would last for some time in the desert was in fact preparation for them when they would arrive in the land of Israel. If their training was complete, they would have come into the land in a much shorter time and annihilated the nations!

In essence they were afraid and did not believe that they could live a life at such a high spiritual level. When the cupboard is bear and there is no more food, will the manna arrive tomorrow or not? Just because it came yesterday does not mean that it will be here today.

This was their test and as great as the men that Moshe picked to go and spy out the land, only two survived the test, Joshua and Calev. They internalized the spiritual message that G-d wanted for the Jewish people. The others failed and caused the Jewish people to wander for forty years in the desert.

Shabbat Shalom