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 23, 2014

Parshas Noach: Noach's lack of Emunah

"They came to Noach into the ark, two by two of all flesh in which there was a breath of life. Thus they that came , came male and female of all flesh , as G-d had commanded him. And Hashem shut it on his behalf". (Genesis: 7: 15-16). 

The Torah goes into great detail explaining all the measurements of the ark and all the hard work that Noach did in building it for 120 years. The people of his generation made fun of him, persecuted him and even wanted to hurt him. This is why the commentaries tell us that there were lions and bears at the entrance of the ark that protected him.

We also know that the only people saved from the flood were Noach and his family. While he was a prophet and did what G-d commanded him, nonetheless the commentaries explain that he was somewhat lacking faith.How can we explain this?

The second of the Rambam's thirteen principles of faith is that G-d is unique and there is no being like him either physical or spiritual. This principle is based on the first verse of the Shema "Hear O Israel, The L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is one".

According to this principle then, if G-d is absolute and unique in this world then it conflicts with the idea of how the righteous suffer and how evil people seem to have it easy in this world. If we were to say that there are other forces controlling things, then we may be able to live with the suffering that we around us.

If we believe, though that G-d is unique in this world and represents goodness, they questions may make us feel uncomfortable. Ultimately we don't understand how things work in this world. How does this apply to Noach?

Noach understood that the world he lived in was corrupt. Even so, he was able to overcome his environment and fulfill G-d's will. Why is then at the last second, G-d has to push him into the ark so-to-speak as the waters are quickly rising? Where was his faith that G-d was going to bring the flood?

Noach surely believed that G-d could it. He thought though that his overwhelming attribute of compassion would override His judgment and for that he was wrong. G-d does have tremendous compassion but sometimes that compassion has to be put aside and justice has to be done.

To wipe out the entire world, Noach couldn't imagine that G-d's compassion would not be stirred to save His creation. For that the commentaries explain was the flaw in Noach's emunah.

What we see around us many times does not make sense and we witness a lot of suffering in the world. We must continue to serve Him with even stronger belief  even when we don't necessarily understand why?

Shabbat Shalom