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, October 30, 2014

Parshas Lech Lecha: Enjoyment of the Physical World

"And it occurred, as he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "See now I have known that you are a woman of beautiful appearance." (Genesis: 12:11)

Avraham tells Sarah to tell the Egyptians that she is his sister because he is afraid that if she says she is his wife they will kill him and take her. Why is that after so many years being married to her, Avraham only recognizes her beauty in the face of danger what might happen to him? Didn't he recognize that she was beautiful during all the previous years they were together?

The Talmud tells us that a person is not allowed to get married unless they are attracted to each other. so it could not have been that Avraham didn't look at his wife and wasn't attracted to her. The love that Avraham had for his wife is what a Jewish marriage is all about.

Even though to some the system in which religious Jews marry seems archaic, going through a matchmaker and such, the system has been successful throughout the  millennium with a very small divorce rate compared to the overall divorce rate.

The reason is that there are laws that govern marriages whereby the husband has no choice but to develop a relationship with his wife. G-d gave man this strong urge but it is supposed to be harnessed and not abused.

It is looked as a very special thing when it is used in the right way. If it is only looked at as a physical relationship, then once the novelty wears off, the relationship crumbles and there is nothing left. Avraham understood how beautiful his wife was but concentrated his life based on her virtues and character traits.

These are essential elements for a strong and vibrant marriage. Communication is key as well as having common goals and desires.This is the reason that so many people stay happily married.

Judaism in this way differs from other religions in the sense of how the world is viewed. We are created from the dust of the earth and have physical bodies. At the same time, we are given a special soul that helps us reach closer to G-d.

There is always the conflict between the physical and spiritual but no where do we say that physical acts that give us pleasure are forbidden; it depends on how we do them. Although we live in a world of instant gratification the goal is sanctify it as best as possible.

G-d has given us urges from which to enjoy this world but we have to know how to use them properly so we can sanctify His name. The physical is good and should be enjoyed the way the Torah wants us to.

Shabbat Shalom