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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, February 6, 2014

Parshas Tetzaveh: Giving over the right Message

"In the Tent of Meeting, outside the Partition that is near the Testimonial-tablets, Aharon and his sons shall arrange it from evening until morning, before Hashem, an eternal decree for their generations, from the Children of Israel" (Exodus 27:21)

It is interesting to note here that this command was given to Aharon and his sons before they were chosen for the priesthood. The reason Rav Moshe Feinstein brings in Derash Moshe  is because the menorah itself is holy even if the kohen would not light it.

The reason Aharon gets this mitzvah is based on his own merits. This means that based on who he was and what he accomplished through his character development he merited to have this mitzvah. He was raised in keeping the Torah and showed what spiritual levels a person can reach if they work on themselves.

This, Rav Moshe explains is the importance of how a rabbi should educate his students and a father his children. The obligation in teaching a student is to teach him how to think and understand and become a great spiritual person in their own right!

Just like the oil cannot have any mixture of lees in it and must be pure, so too the rabbi has to explain Torah thoughts in a clear manner to his students so they don't come to make mistakes. Not only that but a rabbi must educate even the erudite scholar as he would someone who has lesser knowledge.

He gives both the opportunity to learn and grow at their own levels. The rabbi cannot make the mistake and say that I will teach them enough so they understand for themselves. This may prove costly because even if the idea appears obvious, nonetheless there is tremendous responsibility that the student understands the message clearly!

Even if this means that a person has to teach and reteach that particular lesson. Better it be taught many times than the meaning become skewed. This lesson also has practical repercussions for us even if we are not rabbis and don't have students.

We have an obligation to give over Torah messages to our kids to the best of our ability. Whether the child knows a lot or a little, the message and teachings we give them last a lifetime. We have to constantly reinforce ideas in different ways so they get the message. At the same time, each child is different as it is says in Proverbs, we have to educate our kids in the way they need to be educated not the way we think they need to be educated.

May G-d help us give over the right message to our families and students!

Shabbat Shalom