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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, November 27, 2013

Chanukah: Let the Light of the Torah Shine Bright

Chanukah is upon us once again. As we light the candles and eat our donuts and latkes, what is the real reason we celebrate this holiday? After all, even though it is the last revealed miracle that we know about in Jewish history, how do we relate to it today?

We know that the Maccabees fight and beat the mighty Greek army. As they go back to the Temple, they find one crucible of oil that still has the seal of the high priest which had not been contaminated by the Greeks. That crucible of oil miraculously stays lit for eight days when it only has the natural ability to stay lit for one!

After that miracle, the rabbis decreed that we should make a festive holiday for 8 days in memory of the oil that stayed lit for that amount of time. The Greeks have all but disappeared and the Jewish people are still here. As we see the candles lit, what should we be thinking about?

One thing to keep in mind is that today even though the Greeks are no longer among us, nonetheless, they have left their mark on society since a lot of what surrounds us today is the legacy of the Greeks. Education, philosophy, sports and especially the worship of the bodies are all things that the Greeks have left for our modern society.

Even though we are surrounded by Greek culture, nonetheless we look at it as a time of darkness. The obvious question is how can we view it as darkness if in reality it was a time of great enlightenment and scholarship?

When we look at the Greeks, we have to understand that they were interested that Jews should keep their customs in their house...but they should go to Greek schools and participate in the gymnasium. This would lead to more integration into their society which is the most dangerous thing that could happen to the Jewish people!

The result is intermarriage and assimilation. The more we participate in their culture, the more we lose our special identity as Jews. According to the Greeks, that is exactly what they wanted. The more the Jew will be outside his culture and laws, the more susceptible he will be to the non-Jewish way of life!

This has proven to be our downfall. The reason is because the more we participate and are active in that society, the more we tend to assimilate. The biggest thing that the Jewish people have to fight against is illiteracy of Jewish texts and customs.

The more the Jewish people stick to their beliefs and ideals, the more they will stay together and continue to grow. With that in mind, as we watch the candles burn, we should keep in mind the miracles that G-d has done for us.

Not only that, we should realize that the Greek ideals unfortunately are very much alive today and our job is sanctify G-d's name by learning His Torah and keeping His mitzvos.

May we strengthen ourselves during these festive days and enjoy the light that the Torah brings out of each one us.

Have a meaningful Chanukah!