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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 6, 2014

Parshas Vaera: Uncovering our Potential

"And it happened after these things that G-d tested Avraham and said to him, "Abraham," and he replied, "Here I am." And He said, "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love - Yitzchak and go to the land of Moria; bring him up there as an offering upon one of the mountains which I shall tell you." (Genesis 22:1,2)

Avraham is given ten trials, this being the last of them. This one, though seems to be the most difficult as G-d has promised him a son after so many years in his old age, told him that he will inherit him...and now he is commanded to bring him up as a sacrifice. Why is Avraham given this last test?

One of the 13 principles of faith of Maimonides (the Rambam) is that G-d knows the thoughts of man. If that is true, why make Avraham goes through this trial, knowing that he would do what G-d commanded him and leave it at that. Why put him through this last test if G-d knows he will faithfully do it anyway?

The commentaries explain that it is true that he passed the other tests that he was given and was indeed a great man and prophet. At the same time, G-d wanted him to reach even greater potential that had he not gone through this trial, he would have been the great Avraham!

This is indeed remarkable because what this means is that a person's untapped potential, if not realized and come to the forefront, is just that unreachable potential. Even if G-d understands that the person will pass the test, nonetheless, if they are not given it, that potential for that particular thing will not have been realized.

A person is given different trials and tribulations throughout their life. While we pray everyday that we should not have them, we see that without them, we don't grow spiritually like we should. In essence we are not the same person without them.

Even if a person suffers because of a particular trial, they become better people because of it unless they are broken by it. We don't understand why things happen to us but these trials are given to those people for specific reason which we are not privy to!

G-d created each person with potential. Each one has their special mission that they were created for in this world and only they can fulfill it; no one else can fulfill another's potential. If that is true, how do we know what our mission is in this world?

One great rabbi explained to me once that if a person would think about the hardest thing for them to do, whatever it may be, that could be what they are here in this world to fix up. It could be that someone has a hard time with thanking people for helping them or giving money to charity...

Whatever it is that we may be doing here, we have to utilize our days and our lives perfecting ourselves to the best of our ability. Even if things are hard or don't always go our way, we have to overcome these tests and continue on.

If you were to ask people about difficult things that they have persevered in their lives, they will tell you that they are better people because of it. They will also tell you that even if that is the case, they wish that they did not have to go through it!

May we all use our strengths to uncover that hidden potential!

Shabbat Shalom