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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, April 25, 2014

Parshas Kedoshim: We are not Striving for Mediocrity

:"And the L-rd spoke to Moshe saying, 'Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel saying, 'You shall be holy: for I the L-rd your G-d is holy'" (Leviticus 19:1-2).

The obvious question here is what does it mean to be holy? Is it even something that is attainable? What does it mean that G-d is holy? The Ramban explains that holiness in this context is to separate yourself from forbidden relationships and even to limit that which is permitted to you.

Although it is permitted to eat and drink, it is forbidden to be a glutton or a drunk. There is also the idea that a person can keep the entire Torah to the letter of the law but still be disgusting in G-d's eyes because they don't keep the spirit of it!

We have to know how to use this world the way G-d wants us to use it! We don't look at this world as being inherently evil and everything here is bad. We are allowed to use this world for our benefit but we cannot abuse it, even those things that are permitted to us!

Every mitzvah we do, every blessing we make, we sanctify the physical. We bring blessing to the world through our actions. We must not forget though that we have to go beyond the minimum requirement and try and utilize all of our strengths to overcome our evil inclination. Definitely easier said than done.

Holiness by  G-d is a totally different thing. By G-d there is no physicality, there are no limitations, everything by Him is all spiritual. This is something that we can't really relate to. So why does the Torah then tell us to be holy like G-d is holy?

We have to work hard and sanctify the physical at our level. This shows the difference between the Jewish people and the nations of the world. The nations of the world would lead you to believe that holiness is defined by lots of fasting and separation from this world!

The Jewish people believe just the opposite. We can utilize the physical world and make it spiritual. A person can take a mundane thing, an apple for example, make a blessing on it and sanctify it. If done properly even at the minimal level, it brings blessing to fruit trees in the world which allows them to grow and prosper to feed us!

Being holy also means we cannot be happy where we are. We have to go beyond what the Torah wants for us. We need to feel uplifted by the commandments and want to implement them into our lives. This is what it means to keep the spirit of the law even if it is beyond what the Torah demands from us.

The more we keep the spirit of the law, the more G-d's name is sanctified in this world and the greater people we become!

Shabbat Shalom