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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, May 8, 2014

Parshas Behar: Torah cannot be Compromised!

"And G-d spoke to Moshe in mount Sinai saying, 'Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, when you come to the land which I give you , then shall the land keep a sabbath to the L-rd.'" (Leviticus 25:1)

Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l in Derash Moshe explains that not only were all the mitzvos given on mount Sinai but even the ones that were given before the giving of the Torah as well. The reason we keep the mitzvos though is because we were commanded on mount Sinai to keep them through Moshe rabbenu.

The Rambam explains that even bnei noach (literally the sons of Noach, a reference to the seven noahide laws) are obligated to keep the seven noahide laws because they were said to Moshe and he commanded they should keep them as mandated by the Torah. There is a difference here though.

The seven noahide laws given to Adam and to Noach were an obligation to keep because they made sense and not because they were forbidden by a divine command. We therefore see Rav Moshe explains, that all the students that came from Shem and Ever did not have continuance in future generations.

The reason is because not everyone understands the meaning behind the mitzvos and they thought they understood things better than our forefathers. They went after their desires and were able to reason why they did not have to keep these mitzovs and thereby went into spiritual oblivion.

The Jewish people though kept the mitzvos not because they "understood" the reasons behind them but rather because it was a divine command that was passed down to Moshe to give over to the Jewish people. Since this was done, there was no reasoning to get out of the, just the opposite, we are fulfilling a divine decree which draws ourselves closer to Him!

This is the reason that it mentions the mitzvah of Shemitah (the sabbatical year where one is not allowed to work the land in Israel) since it is not something we keep because we understand why we keep it. We fulfill the command of keeping the laws of Shemitah because G-d told us to keep it since how could we observe it without destroying our land! Not only that, we are told that we will receive enough in the sixth year that will compensate for this!

Therefore, it can only be because G-d commanded us to keep it, otherwise it wouldn't make any sense. Who else could fulfill such a promise? If we would understand this idea to its fullest we would realize that since all the mitzvos come from mount Sinai, how could we rationalize to ourselves not to keep them?

This is the mistake many make thinking that since all the mitzvos are rational and we understand them as such, when they no longer make sense to us or we say that the world has changed and we have to change with the times, the Torah does not become sacred and is obsolete. This leads to making compromises that should never be made which are against Torah and insures that with that kind of attitude, Torah will not be able to be passed down to the future generations.

Shabbat Shalom