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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.
Thursday, July 10, 2014

Parhas Pinchas: Get the right Guidance!

"And the L-rd spoke to Moshe saying, 'Pinchas, the son of Elazar the son of Aharon the priest  has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy." (Numbers 25: 11,12)

The actions of Pinchas are truly remarkable. He kills a prince of a tribe in front of the masses because of the desecration of G-d's name that occurred. The Talmud tells us of a number of miracles that occurred for Pinchas for what he did. The question though is how was Pinchas allowed to do such a thing?

When Pinchas asked Moshe what the halacha was in such a case, Moshe did not know and Pinchas remembered and acted on it. When we look at Pinchas' legacy, do we see him as the typical zealot, taking the law into his own hand or as an emissary of G-d doing His will? Through Pinchas' genealogy we see that he stems from Aharon.

Aharon was a man of peace and someone who ran after peace! This would show that Pinchas was also a man of peace. The only problem is how do we view that in light of what he did? We must remember that Pinchas did not act out of revenge or had any ulterior motives in killing Zimri. When he remembered the halacha, he did what he needed to do to sanctify G-d's name from this terrible tragedy!

Zealotry in general is never looked upon as a good thing. The reason is that many see it as a person acting in a vengeful way over some thing without thinking about the ramifications of what they are doing. A person is not allowed to act on their own. If they do not know what to do, they must ask a proper rabbinical authority and get the proper guidance that they need.

When we act alone or do something we think may be right without getting proper guidance, we basically are saying that we know better than G-d how to handle this situation! What possibly could happen is that the results of our "thought out" actions will have tremendous ramifications that we may not have thought of!

The Torah has been transmitted generation to generation. We have our guidelines and our rabbinical authorities to look to each step of the way. If we are unsure of something or clearly don't know, better to ask along the way than be lead down the wrong path! There are countless individuals that have either misguided themselves or have had others give them wrong information that has led them to waste time and go down a path not conducive to who they want to become!

It is so important to seek competent rabbinical authorities to get the right advice and proper guidance that is so badly needed. May we always be able to seek the truth and receive the right direction and guidance to lead us to our full potential!

Shabbat Shalom