Blog Archive

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.
View my complete profile


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, March 27, 2014

Parshas Thazria: Why do we do Circumcision on the eighth day?

"On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised" (Leviticus 12:3),.

The Torah tells us that there is an obligation to circumcise a child eight days after he is born. If all goes well and the child is healthy then the circumcision is on the eighth day. It is interesting that every number of years there is always a discussion whether circumcision is a good thing or not against cancer. Some doctors are for it, some against it but here we see that the obligation to circumcise a child is because G-d told us to do it!

Rav Moshe  Feinstein z"l in Derash Moshe asks why a child is obligated to go through circumcision on the eighth day. He answers from the Midrash (Vaykra Rabba 27:10) that a child cannot be circumcised unless a shabbos has passed. This is so a person would not make the mistake and think that if someone denied G-d's existence or thought that G-d created the world but there were other worlds before that or that G-d does not have a connection to mankind...that their saying G-d's name with a blessing does it really account for something?

The purpose of keeping Torah and mitzvos is to draw ourselves closer to G-d. Shabbos is a symbol that G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. We refrain from "work" on Shabbos and sanctify in the way that G-d wants us to. Someone who denies this basically denies one of the matin tenets of Judaism. Such a person denies G-d and His Torah!

What does this have to do with circumcision on the eighth day? The Torah tells us that the child has to pass through a shabbos so that the child will be imbued with the idea that G-d created the world from nothing and envelop that idea throughout their lives.

This will help intensify their belief that everything comes from G-d and we are obligated to serve Him to the best of our ability. Even if we don't fully understand His ways or how He does things, nonetheless we have to understand that G-d is the creator of life and keeps the world going on a daily basis. If not, the world would return to the original chaos of Genesis.

This is also what circumcision represents. It is a sign that differentiates the Jewish people from everyone else and keeps us separate from the nations. At the same time, we keep it and pass it down to the future generations because G-d told us to do so.

This too is a tremendous sign of the Jewish people as well as shabbos and that is the reason that a child has to pass through shabbos before the circumcision can be done.

Shabbat Shalom