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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, October 24, 2013

Parshas Chayei Sarah Act without Worrying what we will get in Return

"And after this, Avraham buried Sarah his wife in the field of the cave of Machpela, before Mamre the same is Chevron in the land of Canaan" (Genesis 23:19).

The Ibn Ezra writes that the Torah here mentions the land of Canaan to demonstrate the greatness of the land of Israel more than any other land for people that are alive and dead. The Ramban tells us that one of Avraham's trials was finding a burial place for his wife. The Talmud Bava Batra15b explains that this trial was said by the Satan to G-d in order to test Avraham even though the sages do not count this as one of Avraham's ten trials!

The Avos pf Rebbe Nasan (Chapter 33 letter 2) writes that this was not one of Avraham's trials since the children of Chet tell Avraham that they cannot stop someone of his stature from burying his dead there. Nonetheless Avraham did not accept this because he did not want to benefit from others. If a burial place was being offered to Avraham why would this be considered a test for him?

Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky in Emes L'Yaakov explains that the idea of finding a burial plot for his wife and his whole discussion with the children of Chet was to demonstrate his character trait of generosity and openhandedness.  The reason is that they were willing to give him a burial place for the sake of his honor, whereby Avraham did not want to benefit from others.

We can understand this better from the end of the negotiations between Avraham and Ephron. At the beginning, Ephron was willing to give the field to Avraham for free but when Avraham did not want to take it, he agreed to pay for it in full for an astronomical amount of money.

Rav Yaakov continues and tells us that this is not the only place where we witness this character trait of Avraham.  We see it by the fight between Lot's and Avraham's shepherds where Avraham tells him to pick a piece of land and go there so there will be no friction between their two parties. There is also the aftermath of the war of the 4 kings against the 5 kings where Avraham tells the king of Sedom that he wants no benefit from him to make him rich.

Another place that demonstrates this character trait is the beginning of parshas Vaera by the story of Avraham looking for guest after the third day of his circumcision. This ability to give one's heart to others without benefiting from them could be the reason that he merited to having Yitzchak.

The Torah goes out of its way to demonstrate this character trait over and over again to show its importance. We should try to the best of our ability to be ones that give and help to others without any compensation for what we do.

Have a good Shabbos