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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, August 1, 2013

Parshas Re'eh: Remembering: The Contrast of the Exodus from Egypt and Amalek

"You shall not eat leavened bread with it for seven days you shall eat matzos because of it it, bread of affliction, for you departed from the land of Egypt in hast so that you will remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt all the days of your life" (Deuteronomy 16:3)

Rav Moshe Feinstein in Derash Moshe asks why by remembering the Exodus from Egypt we are so strict to make sure we say it twice every day but we are lenient in the fact that we do not need to read it from a sefer Torah while when we have the mitzvah of remembering what Amalek did to us, we only read it once a year but it is required to be read in a sefer Torah!

Rav Moshe answers that by remembering the Exodus from Egypt it is enough saying it to remember the miracles that happened to our forefathers and to imbue the emunah (faith) that we have of G-d's Providence in the world, therefore there is no need to read it in a sefer Torah. Remembering what Amalek did to us is a constant reminder that without Torah, we should worry that any person can be G-d forbid evil like the people of Amalek!

This, therefore requires a sefer Torah because of what a person may become. This is so important we read it in a sefer Torah, just once a year. The reason we don't say it every day is that a person may become lazy and not internalize the message so once a year is ok.

This is an unbelievable contrast. When we want to give ourselves strength in belief in G-d and show that G-d runs the world, we are required twice a day to remember and to actually say it. This is something that will not be weak in our hands and will strengthen our belief in G-d's Providence in the world. On the other hand, the fear of not being like Amalek, the message can be lost if one says it every day. This is why it must be said once a year and in a sefer Torah; that message won't get lost.

This is somewhat difficult because we run into the problem that a person may get too used to saying something that they may do it be rote. This is something that one must guard against on a daily basis. As we say everyday before the Shema, we have to look at the mitzvos as if they are have been given anew today. A new chance at our service to G-d, to be close to Him and enjoy what He has given us.

As we approach the month of Elul, this is a good reminder as we get closer to the day of judgment. We want to be better than last year, we want to change and become the people that we can be. We must internalize the message and make it fresh and timely to better utilize what G-d has given us to reach our true potential.

Shabbat Shalom