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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, April 10, 2014

Parshas Acharei Mos: The Torah can's Cbange, we must change!

"And G-d said to Moshe, Speak to Aharon your brother that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the covering, which is upon the ark, that he does not die" (Leviticus 16:2)

There are a number of things we learn from this verse. One thing is that G-d tells Aharon that he cannot come to the holy of holies whenever he wants. Rav Moshe Sternbuch in Ta'am V'Da'as explains that the reason is because if Aharon would come there whenever he wanted, he possibly could take for granted that auspicious moment.

This means that there would be a greater demand from Aharon if he did not take advantage of that awesome moment of G-d's revealing of Himself to him. This is a tremendous lesson that we need to implement in our lives.

If we have a moment of a great spiritual epiphany, we should not lose it and grab it with both our hands. We want to use this moment as much as possible to give us a "boost" so to speak in our spiritual quest for perfection.

This also teaches us that we should not do things by rote. If that is the case, we don't grow spiritually and it is detrimental to that growth. We are not robots just going about our actions without thinkin  or delving into what we are doing. We have to analyze our actions and take each thing we do and determine whether it is a good thing for me or not!

Another important thing we learn here is that although we have freewill to do what we want we must do what G-d wants at all times. This means that the Torah is eternal for all generations and does not give us the right to change it when we feel like it.

There is an obligation though to determine if modern day inventions coincide with Torah. For example, when electricity was first used, there was a discussion by the rabbinical authorities of that time whether electricity is considered fire and whether it would be permissible to turn on and off on Shabbos.

This is not changing the Torah but rather analyzing what the Torah means and applying it to that time. In any case, when we tamper with the Torah to make it fit "our" times, we disgrace and demean it!

The idea is that it is not how much we involve ourselves in Torah but rather how much Torah we put into us! If we start to change the Torah and make up it's laws, then we subject the Torah to the whims of man which is very dangerous.

We have seen over the last few generations what this can do and the havoc that it creates. The main point is that even if we would say that changing the Torah and making it fit within the times would make more people observe it, it would still be forbidden to do so. This certainly has not been the case and has been a dismal failure!

May we always live up to the high standards the Torah wants for us and continue to pass it down to all future generations!

Shabbat Shalom