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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.
Sunday, April 13, 2014

Passover: Passing down our Priceless Heritage to our Kids

As we make our final preparations for the seder and rid our homes of chametz, we tap into how G-d interacts in history. The exodus from Egypt is what transformed the Jewish people into a nation to be able to go into the desert to accept G-d's Torah.

There are so many things that we do that are dependent on the exodus from Egypt that it plays a vital role in the life of the Jew. This shows the connection that G-d has to His people and how He intervenes in history and can change nature!

As we sit at the seder and tell over the story of the exodus from Egypt and relive the miracles, the message is as important now as it ever has been. We talk about the four sons, how Lavan our ancestor tried to uproot everything and how the Egyptians embittered our lives.

The Rambam tells us that we have to "demonstrate" on that night that we came out of Egypt. The vast majority of the haggadah's say that we have to "see" ourselves as if we came out of Egypt. What is the difference here and what is the Rambam trying to teach us?

The Rambam is telling us that seeing ourselves as if we have come out is not enough, we have to do something to show that. How do we do that? By drinking four cups of wine, eating matzah, maror and by saying over the haggadah with great joy!

When we say hallel and sing and uplift our souls going through the seder we transform ourselves. The reason is because when we delve into the haggadah and receive its important messages, it becomes part of us.

This is the reason that the haggadah is in the form of question and answer because when someone asks a question and they get an answer, it has more meaning to them! It lets them continue and ask questions to get to the essence of what Passover is all about.

G-d runs the world and intervenes in history. We may not always understand how it all works and the picture that it makes but sometimes in hindsight we get a glimpse of the divine in this world. After all, G-d sent the Jewish people to Egypt where they almost got destroyed spiritually so G-d had to take them out earlier.

If that is the case and the Jews almost got obliterated, why did G-d send them to Egypt in the first place? The answer is that the Jewish people had to understand what a human king was like and how to serve him. This would be beneficial for them in the future when they would go into the desert, receive the Torah and serve the king of kings..

G-d never forsake His people but he wanted them to reach higher spiritual levels that they were capable of. Passover is the time to take that message, internalize it and make it part of lives. As our children ask the four questions like we did as children and our parents did as children, they continue the link in the chain that goes back to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

This continues throughout the generations as fathers tell over the story to their kids. The idea is to make it real and relevant to our lives, that is how we pass it down. Even with all the cleaning and the hard work, we have to make it fun and enjoyable so the chilren will have a positive experience and give that over to their children.

The exodus from Egypt is a major tenet in Judaism. May we merit to give over the timely and meaningful message to our children.

Have a meaningful uplifting Passover.