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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, October 11, 2013

Parshas Lech Lecha: Obeying the Boss

"And G-d said to Avram, 'Leave the land of your birthplace, the house of your father to a land that I will show you'" (Genesis 12:1)

Rashi tells us that G-d sends Avram to a new land that will be for his benefit, goodness and he will receive tremendous blessings there. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Derash Moshe asks why is this considered such a trial, after all many people travel to far off countries for the sake of livelihood even if he has a doubt whether he will be successful there.

The trial here Rav Moshe tells us is that Avram does not question what G-d tells him to do even though he does not understand why G-d is sending there.  Can't G-d give Avraham the blessings even where he is? Why does Avraham have to travel to a far off land to receive these blessings?

This is also true by the trial of the binding of Yitzchak. G-d promised to Avraham that he would have a son born to him and Sarah who would be his spiritual heir. After the miraculous birth G-d then gives Avraham the command to sacrifice him. Avraham does not complain or ask why G-d is doing this and received tremendous reward for listening to G-d.

There is a difference between both trials though, Rav Moshe explains. The trial here seemingly does not causes any suffering on Avraham's behalf. Yes he is leaving his homeland and everything he needs but ultimately he will attain great wealth and prominence and does not question G-d's ways.

 The binding of Yitzchak, though caused Avraham great anguish and he still did not question why G-d wanted him to do this. Rav Sternbuch shlita has told me many times  that we are considered to be in G-d's army. Regardless of what the king tells us to do we must listen and obey even if the command does not seem to make sense to us.

This is not just flippant belief in something not comprehensible and we have to keep torah and mitzvos because of a leap of faith. We have to try and understand all the laws of the Torah to the best of our ability. We must remember that the Torah is called 'chochmas elokim' G-d's wisdom and there are things that are beyond our capability of understanding.

This teaches us that we must be humble and realize our human limitations.  We learn from Avraham that even when G-d tells us to do something that seems incomprehensible we still must obey the "Boss" and do His bidding.

Shabbat shalom