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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.
Thursday, July 4, 2013

Parshas Matos-Ma'asei: The Miracle of Teshuvah

"And Elazar the priest said to the men of war which went to the battle, 'This is the ordinance of the Torah which the L-rd commanded Moshe. only the gold and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin and the lead, everything that passes through fire, you shall make it go through fire and it shall be clean" (Numbers 31: 21)

Rav Moshe Feinstein, z"l in his work Derash Moshe explains that when the Torah says, 'This is an ordinance of the Torah with regard to kashering pots and pans, it is really an ordinance for the entire Torah. This means that if someone's pot or pan became not kosher, then there is a way to be able to kasher it and make it reusable like it was previously.

We learn out from here that someone who transgresses and sullies his soul has hope that they can actually fix what they have done and be free from that sin. The way they do this is through proper repentance and regret for what they have done. This is indeed an ordinance of the entire Torah where a person should never give up hope after they have transgressed!

The repentance one must do will depend on the seriousness of the transgression. If a person has a strong desire to transgress, then the repentance and regret will have to be just as strong to uproot what they have done. If the desire was not as great, then the repentance also does not have to be as strong.

This is the source for our ability to do teshuvah. In general this is truly miraculous because how does it work that the repentance and regret for their actions actually uproots what they have done. After all, haven't they just transgressed?

The miracle of repentance is as Rav Feinstein explains. When a person takes action and repents according to the transgression, they transform themselves and change.. This in turn uproots the wrong they have committed and now the person is free from sin.

The Yetzer Hara, though, does not make this so easy. It will convince a person of all the terrible things they have done and show how hard it is for them to change. "Why should repentance help?" the Yetzer Hara will tell you. After all, you will continue to sin in the future and not really change.

The answer is that although that is true, one has to look at what they have done and see it as being done in the past. Yesterday was yesterday, today is a new day. If I focus on the terrible things a person has done in the past, they will have no future because it will be impossible to overcome such feelings.

May we realize that although we are not perfect and make mistakes, we should learn from them, grow from them and transform us to become better people.

Shabbat Shalom