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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, March 19, 2015

Parshas Vayikra: Sacrifices brings us closer to G-d

"And the L-rd called to Moshe and spoke to him out of the Tent of Meeting saying, Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, 'If any man of you bring an offering tot he L-rd, of the cattle shall you bring your offering, of the herd and of the flock. (Leviticus 1: 1-2).

When we read the book of Leviticus, the first thing that people have difficulty is the vast amount of verses that speak about the sacrifices and what has to be brought for what...How do we relate to this today? Do we really believe that when the Temple is built, we will go back to the sacrificial system?

The word sacrifice in Hebrew "korban" comes from the root which means to draw close. The purpose of the sacrifices were to draw a person close to G-d. When the Temple existed this was an easier thing to understand because we witnessed this with our very own eyes.

A person would bring the animal and the kohen would sacrifice it for them. It could be that the whole animal was sacrificed or part of it was and the rest went to the person that brought it but the experience was impossible to describe.

One of the things the Vilna Gaon said he wanted to see was what someone looked like before they brought the sacrifice and what they looked like afterwards! The experience had to be incredible!

When I was in South America a number of years ago, I helped out in the ritual slaughter of cows. When one of the cows was killed, I tried to imagine that I was bringing this animal as a sacrifice so I followed the whole process from beginning to end.

When I realized the magnitude of what was being done, it had a profound effect on me. No, it didn't make me want to be a vegetarian (even though I thought I would never eat meat again) but it gave me a higher awareness of what was transpiring (or potentially transpiring).

If that cow had been brought for a sin offering, then that cow was killed when really I should been the one to be killed. This idea can have a tremendous influence if we take this simple idea and apply to our lives.

Yes we are far removed from sacrifices today and for some it would seem archaic to bring back but in a spiritual world where fire comes down from heaven and consumes the animal or parts of it before our very eyes, we are not the same people as we were before we brought the animal! The animal has the power to make a tremendous sanctification of G-d's name through its sacrifice.

When the Messiah comes and rebuilds the Temple and brings back sacrificial worship, we will witness unbelievable things. It will give us a higher awareness of the world and how it is supposed to function which will bring us closer to G-d which is the point of all this!

Prayer has taken the place of sacrifices today and when sacrifices return, prayer won't cease and will continue. At the same time, it will help elevate ourselves with the sacrifices themselves.

May we merit to see the Temple rebuilt speedily in our days.

Shabbat Shalom