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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.
Friday, January 16, 2015

Parshas Va'eira: Gratitude, its for Everyone

"Hashem said to Moses, 'Say to Aharon, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt; over the rivers, over their canals, over their reservoirs, and over all their gatherings of water, and they shall become blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in the wooden and stone vessels'". (Exodus 7:19)

G-d commands Moshe to tell Aharon to take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt. Why was the first plague done through Aharon and not Moshe?

Rashi answers that since the water protected Moshe when he was placed in the basket, he was not allowed to strike it during the plagues of blood and frogs. The commentaries learn from here that a person has to show gratitude to others even if that thing is an inanimate object!

The water although they can't speak or hear Moshe was not allowed to strike it for the first two plagues, all the more so, a person should show gratitude to others for things that they have done for them! This is an important lesson for many reasons.

The first thing we learn is that a person is considered an ingrate if they do not show gratitude to others. If someone does a favor for us we should reciprocate and help them if they need it.

While there is an obligation to help others in general, here we are required to do more because of the help we received from that person. If we don't show gratitude, then we deny the goodness the other person has done for us!

We live in the :"me" generation! Everything revolves around me and everything is coming to me! I heard someone once say that they became who they were despite their parents; as if to say that they didn't need their parents for anything or be thankful for what they have done for them.

I asked that person simply if they themselves took them out of their mother's womb? Did they dress themselves from the beginning and earned a livelihood at a tender age "despite their parents? As to be expected, there was no response!

We have to teach our children and give them guidelines in this area. They can't always get what they want (even if we could afford it) because their friends have it or because they think they deserve it for whatever reason; this will spoil them and teach them nothing!

We have to teach them to say thank you and appreciate what their parents do for them. They also have to learn to help and do chores and be an active participant in the family. This teaches them responsibility and never to take things for granted.

Another important lesson this teaches is to realize how lucky we are and to be happy with what we have. We don't have to be looking at others and what we lack but we should appreciate what we have and use these things to serve G-d better.

What we see today is horrific of how some people treat others and the disrespect they have for them. Could I be that conceited and think I am so great without appreciating what others have done for us?

May we learn this valuable lesson and appreciate others that have helped us in lfie.

Shabbat Shalom