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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.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

T'sha B'Av: The fast that could turn into the feast

T'sha B'Av is that day of the year that we commemorate all the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. The main thing we are remembering is the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The problem is that we are so far removed from what the Temple was, it is very difficult to relate to what we are missing.

The Talmud tells us that the Temple was destroyed because of lashon hara and sinas chinam (unlawful hatred) between Jews. What essentially sinas chinam? It means that if there is someone less religious than me, I can still be friends with them but if they are more religious, then they are fanatics. Why is this so?

The reason is that if someone wants to hold by a higher standard whether it be in kashrus or modesty, the first reaction from someone less religious will be that their standard is fine and these people are fanatics! They feel threatened and their only line of defense is to name call the others!

This is sinas chinam since there is really no basis for this hatred.  Speaking lashon hara is also a terrible thing which has caused the destruction of the Temple. It actually kills three people: the person who said it, the person who listened to it and the person the lashon hara was spoken about.

Loshan hara is something that when a person does it , he doesn't get any real benefit from it, not monetarily or anything. The reason a person speaks lashon hara is to make themselves look good while at the same time, putting someone else down.

If we would look at others with a good eye instead of looking at their deficiencies, the world would be a very different place. At the end of the day, when T'sha B'Av comes, we have to take stock of our actions and realize that we have to become better and change. We have to realize that the tragedies that hve occurred to the Jewish people are because of our own actions.

We can't place the blame anywhere else and have to take responsibility for our actions. There are mnay good things going on in the Jewish world today with regards to Torah learning and the building of religious communities but at the same time there is too much infighting which has caused its own destruction!

May we be able to internalize the positive messages the Torah gives us and turn T'sha B'Av into a day of feasting instead of fasting!