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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 31, 2013

Parshas Toldos: Why did we Waste our Time in this World?

"Then Yaakov gae Esav bread and porridge of lentils, and he did eat and drink and rose up and went his way and Esav despised the birthright" (Genesis 25:34)

The Torah speaks disparagingly against Esav because he despised the birthright. Why should this be so?  On that same day the commentators tell us he committed five sins so why should the Torah go out of its way and condemn him for his actions of selling the birthright when on that very same day he committed worse transgressions?

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita in Chochmah V'Da'as answers that Esav knew very well the severity of the transgressions that he committed as he grew up in the home of Yitzchak but it was better to fill his desires without any impediments or guilt. The issue with selling his birthright for a bowl of lentils proves that the birthright was of no value in his eyes if he was willing to give it up so cheap.

Esav knew full well the value of Torah and mitzvos as we see by his great desire to receive the blessing from his father but for the sake of receiving something of value right now (the bowl of lentils) he was willing to sell the birthright.

He was willing and prepared to sell some of this world even for a quick fix than to wait and receive his true reward for the performance of mitzvos in the next world. Even though Esav realized the value of what the birthright meant, he wanted the lentils NOW and the ability to fulfill all his desires as well without any repercussions!

Rav Sternbuch continues and tells us that this is no different with us. When we transgress and give into our desires, we disgrace the sanctity of Torah. When we have time to learn and instead waste it on things that detract from our ability to be close to G-d, we also give into our desires for our quick fix at the expense of our reward for the performance of mitzvos in the next world.

We do all kinds of things to justify our actions in this world. Some of them may be legitimate but at the end of our lives, we will have to give an accounting of our actions. Just like Esav who was willing to give up his birthright for a bowl of lentils, we will have to answer for all the time we have wasted when we could have been learning Torah and doing mitzvos.

Shabbat Shalom