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About Me

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, February 19, 2015

Parshas Terumah: Bringing Spiritualty to the Mundane!

"You shall make the planks of the Tabernacle of acacia wood standing erect" (Exodus 26:15)

Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l in Derash Moshe explains that we learn this out from the fact that on sukkos we take the four species the way they are grown. What is the significance of this statement and is the relevance to us?

Rav Moshe tells us that the way we "grow our mitzvos" causes us to do other mitzvos. This means that we should do the mitzvos out of love and joy which will cause us to do other mitzvos as well.

We must not do the mitzvos just because we want to fulfill our obligation or because if we don't do them then we will fry in hell forever! This in no way will help us reach our spiritual goals because we won't grow the way we need to; we will be too worried about getting zapped by G-d if we don't do what we are supposed to do,

G-d has created each person with certain potential based on the their soul capabilities. They are put in this world to use it to their best ability and help others. When we don't use it for the right things then we pollute the world and sully our souls at the same time.

If we have the right frame of mind and do things for the right reason, that will have a positive effect on us which will lead us further in that path. Although we have an evil inclination working against us, the Torah is our antidote to reaching those high plateaus!

At the same time, G-d does not tell us that it will be easy and life definitely has its challenges. I guess it wouldn't be worth living if it didn't! Life is an opportunity to take whatever is thrown at us and use it for good.

Although we may ultimately fail in some of our challenges, the goal  is to pick ourselves up and continue in the right direction regardless of how hard it may be and what challenges there are. G-d does not put a person in a situation that they cannot handle although we often think that this is the case!

Another thing to keep in mind as we go through these parshiot on the building of the Tabernacle is that the wood and stones used to build it had the ability to bring G-d's presence to this world. This means that we are using things of this world to tap into the spiritual.

Unlike Christianity which holds this world is evil...Judaism looks at it with a totally different perspective Yes there are bad elements in this world that can take a person away from their spiritual potential but at the same time it gives us tremendous resources for growth.

Even if we give into our evil inclination we can still do good things. We have to remember not to live in the past because if we do then we have no future!

This is what the wood and stones of the Tabernacle teach us; use this world for our spiritual growth. Do what we need to do to survive physically here but sanctify it and bring spirituality to the mundane!

Shabbat Shalom