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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, January 29, 2015

Parshas Beshalach: Why did 3/4 of the Jews not want to Leave Egypt?

"So G-d turned the people toward the way of the Wilderness to the Sea of Reeds. The Children of Israel were armed when they went up from the land of Egypt" (Exodus 13:18).

In Rashi's second explanation of this verse he tells us that only one out of five went forth from Egypt, and four parts of the people died during the three days of darkenss becaue they were unworthy of being delivered. During the three days of darkness Rashi explains (Exodus 10:22) that there were two types of darkness. One type of darkness was of gloom when no man saw another during those three days and there was moreover another period of three days darkness twice as thikck as this when on man rose from his place.

G-d brought darkness there Rashi explains because there were wicked people amongst the Jewish people of that generation  who had no desire to leave Egypt and these died during the three days of darkness so that the Egyptians might not see their destruction and say, 'These (the Jewish people) too have been stricken as we have. Could it really be after all the affliction that the Jewish people suffered at the hands of the Egyptians that three-quarters of the Jewish people did not want to leave Egypt?

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit"a in Chochmah and Da'as explains that when there are revealed miracles like what happened in Egypt, G-d demands more from us. This means that since G-d changed nature and punished the Egyptians, the Jewish people witnessing these miracles should have in fact lived to a much higher standard and were judged accordingly.

This does not mean that these Jews were heretics and denied G-d but rather their hearts did not see the goodness of what G-d did for them and therefore were judged as being evil! This means that when we are saved from some serious dilemma whatever it may be, we not only have to recognize it as such but our actions should change for the better because of it!

When we live in a world of G-d's presence is hidden, we have to strengthen ourselves even more in our belief in Him.  The Ari z"l (Rav Isaac Luria) explains that the inner levels we hope to acquire in spirituality take great effort to acquire but today we can merit great things in spiritual terms easier than in previous generations.

This obligates us every one of today since it is so easy to acquire these levels compared to previous generations, we should not waste this precious time! There are those righteous people who explained this in the following light.

They claimed that when they die, they won't rest until they are able to bring the messiah here. The problem is that after they die, they come to someone in a dream and tell them that in the next world they see things totally differently.

They see what can be accomplished today where G-d's presence is hidden and where we can acquire great spiritual levels much easier than in previous times. After the coming of the messiah, we will not be able to do this and therefore it is worthwhile to delay the redemption.

This is one of the acts of chesed that G-d does for us to help us gain merits in a much easier way and lift ourselves to levels we did not think was possible. Imagine what we have to gain!! Let us not waste our time in this world and acquire the greatness that is possible.

Shabbat Shalom