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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.
Friday, December 20, 2013

Parshas Shemos: Beware of the Influences around us

"Now there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Yosef" (Exodus 1:8)

The Gemara in Sotah 11a brings a difference of opinion of whether this was a new king or it was the same king but he made new decrees. If we say that this king made new decrees it seems that even before that there were decrees and now there were new ones.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita in Chochmah V'Da'as explains that at the beginning, Pharaoh wanted the Jews to integrate into Egyptian culture and not to live in a different place within the country and have their own laws.. He wanted them to be just like the Egyptians in the sense that they would dress the same, go to their schools..

When Pharaoh saw that they would not change their names, language or their clothes he made new decrees. They would not have the same freedoms as regular Egyptians. Not only that, but if they did not want to be like everyone else, they would suffer the consequences!!

This happens over and over in all generations. The non-Jews nations in Europe wanted the Jews to be separate in their ghetto and not to mix with the non-Jews because they were not considered equals in society. In essence they could not be part of that society nor were they welcomed either.

Afterwards when the non-Jews nullified the ghetto and gave the Jews freedoms like everyone else and it did not take long before the Jews were "regulars" in society which caused much assimilation and intermarriage. As the saying goes, the more the Jew becomes more like the non-Jew, the more he loses his identity and his closeness to his priceless.

This same idea is applicable as well to the situation in the state of Israel. The Satmar Rebbe z"l was afraid that the non-religious in Israel would make decrees against the chareidim (ultra-orthodox) there. The Chazon Ish (Rav Avraham Yeshay Karelitz) z"l answered the Satmar Rebbe by telling him that he was not worried about the bad decrees that the non-religious would make against the chareidim but rather he was worried about the "candies" the non-religious would give them which would cause more problems.

The Chazon Ish was worried that the more contact we have and befriend them, then the more they could have influence over us. This shows how much we have to be aware of the influence of our non-Jewish society and guard ourselves as best as possible against it.

Shabbat Shalom