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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, April 23, 2015

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim: Hate the Action not the Person!

"You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you should rebuke your neighbor and not suffer the sin on his account" (Leviticus 19:17).

If someone wronged us in any way, doesn't it give us the right to hate them and want to stay away from them? How can the Torah command us to do something which essentially goes against our very nature? After all, doesn't king Solomon in Ecclesiastes tell us that there is a time to love and a time to hate? What exactly was he speaking about?

The commentaries tell us that we don't have to take unnecessary punishment from someone. If we are mistreated then we don't we have the right to be angry and be upset with this person and hate them? This is what G-d wants to uproot from us, this hatred in our heart while at the same time guarding ourselves from this person.

In essence we can hate the act, just not the person! This is easier said than done!! We have every right to be upset, appalled at what this person has done. G-d wants us, though to differentiate between the person and the act itself!

We all mistakes and certainly have to take responsibility for our actions. We would like others to have compassion for us so we certainly should have compassion for them. Even if someone has done something to hurt us, we are not condoning it but rather have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

We have to try and put ourselves in their shoes, thereby creating more compassion for them which will in turn alleviate some of the pain that was caused. Theory definitely works more than reality but this is what we are supposed to do to the best of our ability.

The end of the verse speaks about the importance of rebuke. We have an obligation to rebuke someone if we see them doing something wrong. What if they won't listen? At the very least maybe something should be said to show that you disagree with their behavior?

Many rabbinic authorities hold that although that may be true we don't know how to give rebuke today and will often make the situation worse. At the same time for ourselves we have to make some sort of rebuke to show that we are not held accountable for what someone else has done.

This means if I don't make some sort of protest even for myself it may be that we are showing we agree with this behavior and therefore will be held accountable for what they have done! We often here the expression live and let live, I'm ok, your ok... Basically this means that we shouldn't interfere with what others do and leave well enough alone.

This has no place in Torah because after all we believe there is right and wrong; standing idly by is not an option! We see from this verse the importance of self-esteem while at the same time showing emotional self-control. We also see the scope of how another person's actions even if we are not doing it but standing idly by is as if we consent!

May we have the power to control our emotions be spiritually aware of things around us!

Shabbat Shalom