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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 2, 2015

Parshas Vayechi: In the end it will be good

"But Yosef said to them, 'Fear not, for am I instead of G-d? Although you intended me harm, G-d intended it for good: in order to accomplish it is as clear as this day that a vast people be kept alive" (Genesis: 50:19-20).

As we have seen from the story of Yosef and the brothers, it is clear that when Yosef told over the dreams, he was giving over prophecy of what would happen in the future. The reason Yosef had to tell these dreams even at the risk of his brothers hating him more was because these were not ordinary dreams but actually prophecy and when a prophet receives prophecy he has to tell it over!

This led Yosef to be sold and eventually live in Egypt. While he was there, he rose to be second-in-command to Pharaoh where he told him the answer to his enigmatic dreams whereby there would be years of plenty and famine. "Coincidentally" the famine reached the land of Israel and Yaakov told his children to go get food from Egypt otherwise they would die of starvation.

The brothers go down to Egypt and we have our story. The Torah does not waste words on telling us things we don't need to know or are irrelevant. The purpose of the story of Yosef and his brothers is these two verses. The brothers realized their mistake in mistreating Yosef and showed their true remorse for their actions.

This is when Yosef reveals himself and wishes to see his ailing father. After Yaakov dies, the brothers are still worried about their mistreatment of Yosef and the repercussions that may occur now that Yaakov is no longer alive. Yosef assures them that they have nothing to fear because everything is under control by G-d and the purpose of everything was so that he could save them from the famine.

This is what occurs in our everyday lives even if we don't understand it. This means that people have many trials and tribulations throughout their lives. We see them as something bad and difficult to deal with but in the end they help us become the people we are; we just have to know how to look at it.

Even if the end result is bad, the purpose of it could be to save the Jewish people from something much worse. As the Jewish people prayed for the recovery of the three boys that were taken captive and subsequently killed, they did not die for nothing.

The Israelis searched high and low for these boys and in the end attacked many positions of Hamas in the Gaza strip. This lead to the discovery of a complex network of tunnels where there could have even been a worse catastrophe as the plans of the Hamas were foiled.

While the death of the three boys was indeed tragic, the end result was that they saved hundreds perhaps thousands of lives with the discovery of these tunnels! This is but one example that even though the boys died, we know that everything comes from above. Here they were the sacrifice which in the end saved thousands of lives!

Yosef is telling us a lesson for all generations. G-d is the designer of the world. He orchestrates everything down to the last minutia running the world. We think that the world runs on auto-pilot through nature; isn't G-d really behind nature?

We need new glasses in which to view the world. G-d has many messengers at His disposal which can cause good or bad things to happen. In reality everything G-d does is good; we just have to step back and view the world that way even if things don't seem like that.

This is what Yosef is showing us in speaking with his brothers. G-d runs the world; even if you think you are doing bad things to me G-d sees it otherwise and continues to put his plan into action whereby in the end it will be good.

Shabbat Shalom