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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, November 20, 2014

Parshas Toldos: Esav Despises his Birthright

"Yaakov gave Esav bread and lentil stew and he ate and drank, got up and left; therefore, Esav spurned his birthright" (Genesis: 25:34).

Esav comes home after exhausted after killing and plundering thinking he was on the verge of death. Yaakov has food cooking and Esav demands that he give him some. He agrees only if Esav will sell his birthright and swear to him that he will do so!! Esav is incredulous at the actions of his brother, agrees, swears and after eating ravenously despises his birthright. Aren't his actions justified?

When we look back at what transpires between Yaakov and Esav we cannot but be amazed at the fact that Esav grows up in the house of Yitzchak. How could it be that he is not interested in a spiritual life? After all, doesn't he come from a strong pedigree with Yitzchak as his father and Avraham as his grandfather?

The Torah tells us that it is not an inheritance. Just because our parents were religious or our grandparents were righteous people will insure that their kids or grandchildren will be like that. It definitely helps to have that but it is no guarantee for the future.

Esav understands where he came from and the importance of his pedigree. The problem is that he was so steeped in his desires that they overcame him and destroyed him. He was unable to control himself which inevitably caused his downfall.

He still understood the importance of the blessing and what it represented. Even if he did not want to follow the Torah or its laws, he nonetheless understood why he should follow it. He had respect but did not want any part of it.

This struggle between Esav and Yaakov is the struggle between the Jewish people and the nations throughout the generations. When Yaakov, ie the Jewish people are doing what they need to do they will be successful and on top. When we don't do what G-d wants, then the nations have the upper hand over us.

The Esav's of the world want to destroy Torah and make us like them. We should go to their schools, be part of their extra curricular activities and intermarry with them as well. The Jewish people in their eyes should not be unique and not stand out and be different. This has been the claim throughout the generations by our brethren that if we would only be like the non-Jews around us they would surely embrace us.

If not for the fact that we openly display our differences that they hate us. If we look at the Holocaust in perspective we see that this is not the case. Hitler, may his name be blotted out only wanted to destroy the Jewish people and didn't make any distinctions whether Jews were religious or not. He wanted to be rid of them as a whole group!

Anti-semitism exists because it exists. No matter what the Jewish people do, they are hated. If they have money, they are despised; if they poor they are not liked...No matter what we do we bring out the ire of the nations of the world. What should we do then?

G-d separated us a nation to make us a light to them. That means we have uphold our end of the bargain and do what we are supposed to do. When we do that, we bring light to the world and illuminate it; when we don't there is darkness and tragedy!

Shabbat Shalom