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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, July 23, 2013

Derech Hashem - The Way of G-d Introduction

The Ramchal  in his introduction tells us that when a person is confronted with many details and does not know how they relate to each other, it is a very difficult test. Also, when one studies a subject, one must understand the place of each element within the general scheme.

When dealing with general principles, one must be very careful to grasp all their aspects and areas of validity. Even elements that may seem superfluous should not be ignored, but should be carefully preserved and taken to heart.

The Ramchal then tells us that in his work, he has put together the general principles of Jewish belief and religion, expounding its true nature in such a way that it can be clearly understood and provide an adequate picture, free of ambiguity  and confusion.

This means that when one understands these fundamental beliefs, then it is easier to understand man's purpose in the world and how the world works in general. This is regards to this world, the next world, how spiritual forces function... Creation and all its entity is confusing and it is very difficult to make sense of what happens around us.

The Ramchal sets up his book into four sections: The first section is about the general basis of all existence  and its details. The second section deals with G-d's Providence, the third with prophecy and the fourth with religious observance.

Although this gives the reader a very general basis of how things work in this world, it does not make our existence easy. This means that when we learn about the ongoing battle between the yetzer hara (evil inclination) and the yetzer ha'tov (good inclination) and how it all happened through Adam eating from the tree of knowledge, the struggles that we go through in this world, just don't end. Rather, we now have the basis from where it comes from!

Understanding these concepts from where they come from is half the battle in utilizing this world for our benefit to reach our true potential. Once we understand how G-d set this up and why He set up in such a way, it gives us tremendous more meaning in our everyday life.

At the same time, knowing why things are the way they are and working with these elements in our day-to-day lives certainly helps. There is a big difference, though, knowing what the right thing is and actually doing it! The Ramchal through his introduction shows us that there is a lot going on behind the scenes in this world and prepares us for this and how we are supposed to relate to it.