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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.
Friday, August 30, 2013

Parshas Nitzvavim - Vayeilech - Each Jew is Responsible for each other

"For you to pass into the covenant of Hashem your G-d and into His imprecation that Hashem, your G-d seals with you today" (Deuteronomy 29:11)

The parsha begins in plural form (atem nitzavim) and ends in singular form (l'avdecha). Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita in Ta'am V'Da'as tells us that the covenant made between G-d and the Jewish people is so that the they will be considered like one unit in as much as if one Jew transgresses whether through his body or soul, the entire Jewish nation feels it.

This is what it means that the Jewish people entered the covenant with G-d, each one taking responsibility for their fellow Jew. There is a novelty here, Rav Sternbuch explains. Even if one Jew decides that they want to throw off the yoke of keeping Torah and mitzvos G-d forbid, they are not doing what we call actions of our people and thereby take themselves out of the category of being part of our nation.

We understand that no matter what a Jew does, they are still considered a Jew even if they convert to another religion. At the same time, there are things that a Jew can do that systematically take him away from his people. Therefore, there would be no mitzvah of giving rebuke to such a person. Similarly there is no mitzvah to give rebuke to evil people and wanton transgressors who do not keep Torah and mitzvos.

Nonetheless, the Jewish people are all interconnected and all of them are considered one entity and have all entered the covenant with G-d together. Therefore if one of the Jewish people transgresses, it makes a blemish for the entire Jewish nation who feel the pain of what this person has done. Also,  anyone who can protest against what these people do should do so in a way that they themselves feel the pain of their actions.

One may ask, what will this protest do? Won't it anger the people even more? Sometimes a person has to stand up and do something because he feels the pain of what this transgressor has done. This will strengthen the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people through His Divine Providence and compassion for his people and His land.

This is the eternal promise of the merit we have in the land of Israel today. This makes things worse in some ways because if one transgresses in the palace of the king, then the punishment and repercussions are much greater.

I have heard many times Rav Sternbuch say that he is not afraid of all the hostile nations that surround the tiny country of Israel. What he is more afraid of is G-d's anger for his people when they do not act as His people in the land of the Israel!

As a nation we have to look out for our ignorant brethren and try and educate them in the ways of the holy Torah. This will bring out love of Torah and create a tremendous kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d's name).

Shabbat Shalom