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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, February 13, 2014

Parshas Ki Tissa: Seize the Moment!

"And when the people saw that Moshe delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aharon and said to him, 'Up make us gods which will go before us, for as this man Moshe who brought us out of the land of Egypt we know not of what has become of him." (Exodus 32:1)

How can it be that after all the miracles in Egypt that G-d performed through Moshe that the people could want 'other gods' to go before them since Moshe was delayed in coming down from the mountain? Was coming out of Egypt such a small thing in their eyes? The same people that saw all the miracles that G-d did for them in Egypt, suddenly forget?

Even though the people witnessed many miracles in front of their eyes, nonetheless when Moshe delays in coming back, they immediately lose faith and want other gods to walk before them. How could this have transpired?

At that time, Moshe took care of all their needs. The manna fell and fed them. Their clothes never wore out and they were living their lives on a very high level spiritually. The problem was when they were left on their own, they didn't know what would happen to them. Maybe it was the merit of Moshe himself that the miracle of their survival continued. If that was true, then how could they themselves survive without their spiritual leader?

In reality, they still believed in G-d and of all the miracles that He did for the Jewish people. At the same time, their faith was weakened when Moshe was delayed. Even seeing G-d face to face by the first of the Ten Commandments didn't help them!

The reason is that although they witnessed all these miracles, they didn't internalize the message. G-d wanted them to live on a very high spiritual level. That meant that even though the manna was finished and kept coming on a daily basis, they didn't think they were worthy of it continuing.

Just because it came the day before and the day before...maybe their merit wouldn't be enough. After all, they are now living in the desert and need to exist! We see that even if one had the greatest miracles performed for them, if they don't internalize the message they lose that level of spirituality very quickly.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita has told me many times that when one has that spiritual epiphany whenever it occurs, it should not be wasted. That is the time to grab it and have it effect them as much as possible because once it goes, it goes.

If we don't utilize the opportunity that we are given there is no guarantee that it will come back very soon. Not only that, but we must be ever aware of the evil inclination's struggle against us. It would tell us that we can rest on our laurels, we don't have to grow so much spiritually and we can take it easy.

Yes we will keep Torah and mitzvos but we sometimes hit a spiritual plateau where we say we are happy where we are. This is akin to death because if we are not spiritually growing then we are going in the opposite direction.

May we look at every mitzvah that we do as if it were given yesterday on Mount Sinai and treat every day anew to serve G-d properly.

Shabbat Shalom