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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, February 26, 2015

Parshas Tetzaveh: Money matters are important!

"They shall attach the breastplate from its rings to the rings of the ephod with a turquoise woolen cord so that it will remain above the belt of the ephod and the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate will not be loosened from upon the ephod". (Exodus 28:28)

Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l in Derash Moshe asks why will the breastplate will not be loosened from the ephod? He explains that the ephod is to atone for idolatry and the breastplate for perverting justice either by the judge or by a person who does something in business that is illegal or underhanded or thinks that it is permitted to do so.

If a person would live with the idea and knew for sure that G-d fixes his livelihood and what he will be lacking (ie expenses that they did not count on like a broken washer machine, dental work...) from Rosh Hashanah they would be ever careful not to sin especially in the area of monetary matters.

Denying this idea of hashgacha pratis (Divine providence) one in essence denies G-d and is an idolator.   Therefore one needs atonement on both because if one transgresses laws that have to do with money matters they will also transgress idolatry as well and this is why you have the kohen wearing the breastplate and ephod together.

Why should it be that we compare lack of business ethics with idolatry? Idolatry does not only mean that a person bows down to an idol. It can also giving something power which takes G-d out of the picture. This could be in the form of sports, entertainment and money!

When we put these things ahead of what is really important, ie serving G-d and keeping the mitzvos, it is in essence idolatry and we must remember how severe a transgression this is! We are trying our best to do what G-d wants us to do but when we are unethics especially in dealing with money we desecrate G-d's name!

Rav Yisrael Salanter z"l the founder of the mussar movement said that everyone is quick to learn the laws of Shabbos but few learn the intricacies of the laws of damages. The problem is that most of the laws of Shabbos are rabbinical in nature while the laws of money most are on a Torah level!

The Talmud teaches us that there are three ways a person can be tested. One is by how he drinks, how they handle their temper and how they deal with money. Money does funny things to people and it is amazing what leniencies people will rely on or how unethical people can actually be.

The true test of a person is their business dealings and how they use their money. When it comes to something as personal as this, integrity is worth every penny. The people today that have a good name for themselves are ones that are truly scrupulous in money matters, making sure that no one gets cheated and are honest in their dealings with others.

What can happen sometimes is that a person may be stuck or in a pinch and will do something they wouldn't ordinarily do had they not been in that situation. There is a tremendous yetzer harah (evil inclination) when it comes to money and we have to be ever so careful in how we use and how we deal with others!

Shabbat Shalom