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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 22, 2015

Parshas Bo: Sacrifice yourself to Torah

"Moshe called to all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Draw forth or buy for yourselves one of the flock for your families, and slaughter the pesach-offering. You shall take a bundle of hyssop and dip it into the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with some of the blood that is in the basin, and as for you, no man shall leave the entrance of his house until morning. Hashem will pass through   to smite Egypt, and He will see the blood that is on the lintel and the two doorposts; and Hashem will pass over the entrance and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your homes to smite." (Exodus 12:21-23)

Moshe tells the Jewish people that they have to slaughter a lamb (one of the gods of the Egyptians) and place the blood on the doorpost of their homes so that G-d will see it and not let the destroyer kill them. The commentaries tell us that this was the last thing the Jewish people had to do so that they could leave Egypt. Why does G-d make them do this and make it a precondition to leave if He had already promised them they would leave Egypt after the last plague?

After witnessing all the plagues and destruction of Egypt, were the children of Israel not prepared spiritually to leave? Would their slave mentality be a hindrance to them as they went out into the desert?

One possible way of understanding this is that G-d wanted to make sure they truly believed in Him even after all the miracles that G-d had performed. By killing their god in front of them would be the ultimate test in their submissiveness to Him to show their loyalty.

This is the ultimate sacrifice of giving over one's self for the sake of doing G-d's will. How could they possibly have the strength to do something like this without feeling the wrath of Pharaoh and what he might do. This was precisely the test that G-d needed to put them through.

This would show beyond the shadow of a doubt their commitment to Him and how far they were willing to go to serve Him. This is a tremendous lesson for all of us.

We go through life sometimes asleep and doing things by rote. We get up, wash our hands, make the appropriate blessings, keep shabbos, the festivals but we are disconnected in many ways and merely go through the motions.

G-d wants us to take the bull by the horns so-to-speak and give every ounce of our strength every day to serve Him properly. This may come at a price that we may have to pay.

This means that sometimes we may have to do things that the Torah wants which will make others feel uncomfortable or possibly jeopardize our jobs or friendships. We have to be willing to do whatever G-d wants from us even if it makes others uncomfortable.

Torah comes first in every aspect. We need to live our lives in accordance to its laws and sacrifice ourselves to keep it. We don't live our lives to be popular or to be political right; we do what we need to do because this is G-d's will.

If we would look at the world in such a way and live up to the high standards that the Torah has for us and not worry about world opinion or what our friends or neighbors might think, the Jewish people would look very different today.

May G-d give us the strength to serve Him properly.

Shabbat Shalom