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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, December 25, 2014

Parshas Vayigash: What will we Answer when G-d Calls

"And Yosef said to his brothers, 'I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?' But his brothers could not answer him because they were left disconcerted before him" (Genesis: 45:3)

Truly an amazing story here. Yosef has been badgering his brothers, accusing them of being spies, taking Shimon and Benyamin as hostages, so-to-speak and causing pain to his father all the years he was in Egypt! After all that, he couldn't take it any more and reveals himself to his brothers.

They are in shock and cannot answer. They understood through all the accusations that what they did with him wasn't right, even if they thought so. At the same time, they searched and searched for Yosef and didn't find him, this revelation by Yosef caught them totally by surprise!

This is a premonition for what will happen to each of us in the future. G-d will judge us for our actions and what we did in this world. We won't be able to contradict Him because He will show us exactly what we have done in this world.

We will be like the brothers and not be able to answer. We won't be able to say we didn't do this or that, it will be there right in front of us. This will shake us to our spiritual core, totally embarrassing us for what we have done.

Many rabbinical authorities are of the opinion that this is one aspect of what gehinom (hell) is like. It will be the utter embarrassment of the actions that we performed that took us away from doing what is right in G-d's eyes.

Gehinom in a sense is a cleansing process that helps rectify the mistakes we have made in our lives to help us get our soul back to where it was when it was brought down to this world. That rectification will allow to get to Gan Eden (the garden of Eden) or the spiritual world where we will be able to get the benefit of the good things we did in this world.

There is a certain payback if you may for the bad things we have done in this world that took away G-d's presence. G-d will judge us what our intention was when we did them, where we were holding at the time and give us a judgment to rectify the corruption that we have caused ourselves.

This is a tremendous chesed (compassion) from G-d that even though we mess up He allows us to still draw close to Him. Most people are not inherently evil that they deserve their soul to be obliterated. Nonetheless, the soul has to be cleansed to be able to benefit from the next world!

The story of Yosef and the brothers helps us understand this more clearly. Just as the brothers weren't able to answer Yosef when he revealed himself because of their utter embarrassment, so too we won't be able to answer G-d when we have to account for our actions.

G-d in His infinite wisdom will have mercy on us as long as we admit and sincerely regret what we have done. Nothing stands in the way of repentance and even though we don't always do the right thing, we can't live in the past otherwise we will have no future!

Shabbat Shalom