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, August 7, 2014

Parshas Ve'eschanan: If you add or subtract mitzvos from the Torah, you only lose out

"You shall not add to the word  which I command you, neither shall you diminish it, that you may keep the commandments of the L-rd your G-d which I command you , Your eyes  have seen what the L-rd did because of Ba'al Pe'or: for all men that followed Ba'al Pe'or, the L-rd destroyed them from among you." (Devarim 4:2-3)

Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l in Derash Moshe asks what is the connection of not adding or subtracting from the mitzvos to serving Ba'al Pe'or? He tells us that the mistake of Enosh and his generation was that they thought serving idols was a sanctification of G-d's name.

After all, if G-d created the stars, planets..and they are so big and serve a tremendous purpose in our solar system and galaxy, then G-d must have put them there for us to worship as well. This does not mean we don't need to worship G-d but these creations that come from Him are also worthy of worship!

The problem is that G-d never gave us a command to worship them. Not only that, they are adding on to the mitzvos that G-d has given us and that is part of the fundamental mistake they made. This led to G-d being forgotten and these other creations being worshiped entirely!

How far that generation and future generations fell! They recognized that G-d created the world and everything in it. They also thought that these things were so incredible that they could be worshiped as well.

In essence these things were worshiped and G-d was forgotten about! This Rav Moshe continues, led the Jewish people to even worship the idol of Ba'al Pe'or. They added on to mitzvos that had no business being added on to!

The Torah is very specific of what we have to do and what we are not allowed to do. When we start adding on or detracting from the mitzvos, we are saying that we know better than Torah. Maybe this mitzvah doesn't apply today, or we have to make it fit in to the times we live in...However we want to define it, we only lose out when we try to add or subtract mitzvos!

We can see from the so called other movements what happens when you decide to play G-d and delete mitzvos from the Torah: assimilation and intermarriage. These are the two biggest things today that threaten the Jewish people from going into oblivion.

This is what the Torah is teaching us. We have to understand the mitzvos in their entirety and keep them to the best of our ability to sanctify G-d's name in this world!

Shabbat Shalom