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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.
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Parshas Miketz: The Connection between the Physical and Spiritual

"Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, 'That is beyond me, it is G-d who will respond with Pharaoh's welfare" (Genesis 41:16)

Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky in Emes L'Yakov explains this verse through the lighting of the candles on Chanukah before Shabbos. The Shabbos candles we are allowed to get benefit from but not the Chanukah candles. Not only that but one is not allowed to use the light to read words of Torah or for any other mitzvah as well.

The Shabbos candles are lit so there will marital harmony between husband and wife and the Chanukah candles are lit because of the miracle of what happened in the Temple. Nonetheless, if one only had money for either Shabbos candles or Chanukah candles, one should buy Shabbos candles because marital harmony outweighs even the great miracle of what transpired by Chanukah. Why should this be so?

The great miracle of Chanukah shows the tremendous Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) and miracle that G-d did for the Jewish people but Shabbos candles show the connection between the physical world and spiritual world through the meals that we consume.

We also know that by keeping the laws of Shabbos, it is a gateway to what will be in the next world regarding the awesomeness of the spiritual experience. The question though is how this eating and drinking on Shabbos is part of what the great spirituality of the next world.

The answer is because the spiritual worlds are connected one to the other.  This is how our holy ancestors used the physical world for spiritual means. This explains what Yosef said to Pharoah in their seemingly mundane conversation,

Pharoah tells Yosef that he is a great interpreter of dreams whereas Yosef pushes him off saying that it is beyond him and it is only G-d who will explain the dream to him and the subsequent dream as well, This is incredible because Pharaoh being the ultimate denier of G-d's power agrees and says that Yosef has the spirit of G-d within him!

This is the power that our ancestors have passed on to us this idea that physical things even have spiritual realities. The fact that Yosef can interpret dreams is only because it is G-d who shows him what the dreams mean.

This is a tremendous lesson for us because we can take a mundane act such as eating and drinking and make it seemingly part of what the next world experience will be like!

May we always see that connection between the physical and the spiritual in everything that we do.

Shabbat Shalom