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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 3, 2013

Parshas Noach: Was he really great or not?:

"These are the offspring of Noach - Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; Noach walked with G-d."  (Genesis 6:9)

Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky in his work Emes L'Yaakov brings the disagreement in Rashi whether Noach would have been even more righteous had he been in the generation of Avraham or whether he would not have been considered much at all. In reality, Rav Yaakov tells us that there is no disagreement between these two explanations because had he been in a generation of righteous people, he would have been considered even greater. The disagreement comes in what the words 'in his geneations' means; either to praise him or to deride him.

The question is why would we want to interpret Noach's character as in the negative when we could praise him for his righteous acts? Rav Yaakov explains that Noach could not have been truly righteous or he would have been able to save his generation. Not only that, but the Midrash implies that he did not know how to give rebuke to that generation and therefore was not successful in saving anyone else!

This is why there is the negative interpretation to Noach's righteousness. In reality though, why is this a knock on his righteousness, isn't it just a deficiency of wisdom? The answer is that this lack of judgment in wisdom is a blemish to his righteousness.

Had Noach been able to find the means to give rebuke properly, he would have found a way to explain it to his generation, thereby saving them. This is an important thing to keep in mind for us as well. We sometimes get caught up in the heat of the moment and forget about what we are here in this world to accomplish.

If we want to try and help someone but we are not successful, we have to try and think of other possible ways. Who is to say that there is only one way? Maybe our judgment has been skewed and we are not thinking clearly or just have made a mistake in handling the situation.

Sometimes we may have to go out of our comfort zone to be successful. There is a question as to who was better at hachnasas orchim (having guests) Job or Avraham. Rav Dessler tells us that Avraham was greater because when a guest came to the house of Job, he served him what he himself liked to eat where by Avraham, he served his guests what they themselves wanted to eat.

May we learn to give of ourselves and help others the way they need to be helped and what they need to hear rather than what we think they need to hear.

Shabbat Shalom