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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, September 18, 2013

Sukkos: Living in a Temporary World

As we have become pure and atoned for all of our sins, we go into our temporary hut (sukkah) to bask in the glory of G-d's protectiveness. The purpose of the sukkah is to show that this world is temporary and that is why the holiday of Sukkot has to be in the fall when the weather is not so good and most likely cold, depending on where you live.

We also read the book of Koheles (Ecclesiastes) on shabbos chol hamoed. The reason this is read is because King Solomon reminds us that this is a temporary world and that this world is a world of vanity. As King Solomon has searched the world, the only thing he found truth in is Torah.

This is a very interesting idea because many people today look at this world as the ultimate. This means that they live their lives according to what they think and want without regard for any real meaning in life. As the Mishna in Ethics of our Fathers tells us this world is just like a hallway for the next world. The Ramchal tells us in Path of the Just that G-d could not have created this world just for its own sake.

When we see things that don't make sense, like senseless suffering, there must be a picture. How can the righteous suffer or young children die if there is something on a higher plane going on. Sukkos is a time to dwell on the temporariness of this world and focus on our spiritual lives.

We put a white sheet around our Sukkah to represent the Ananei Ha'Kavod (the Clouds of Glory) that followed us in the desert. These clouds gave the Jewish people everything they needed as their clothes never wore out and all their needs were cared for.

According to Kabbalah, the clouds of glory represent what we call the Tzel D'Hemnusa, the shade of faith, so-to-speak. It is our faith that G-d's runs the world and that is a temporary world in which we live. Not only that, but if change the letters around from the word tzel (shade) to leitz (mockery) we see that in a split second we can change from our faith in G-d to making a mockery G-d forbid of Him.

This means that the sukkah is holy, there should be no frivolous speech in it, not to mention speaking lashon harah etc. If we don't use the sukkah properly and focus on its true meaning, then we make it into a leitz ie we mock everything that it stands for.

As we get ready to go into the sukkah, we are reminded by the holiness of the sukkah and how this world is just temporary.

Have a meaningful sukkos.