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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 16, 2015

Parshas Thazria/Metzorah: Our actions can cause us to be sick

"Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aharon saying: 'If a person will have on the skin of his flesh a s'eis or a sapachas, or a baheres and it will become a tzaraas affliction on the skin of his flesh; he shall be brought to Aharon the Kohen or to one of his sons the kohanim" (Leviticus 13:1 - 2)

Why is it so important that if one has affliction it should be shown to a kohen? Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l in Derash Moshe explains that the Temple itself was not the only place where we would have a connection to a kohen but anything that we see that has a connection to life will show us this special relationship. How can we explain this?

Even sickness and tzaaras as explained in this verse are only caused by our transgressions. We believe there are no chance happenings in the world and everything is dictated from above even to the minutest of details! The Torah permits a person to go to a doctor because maybe a person won't do proper repentance for G-d to heal them, nonetheless the essence of why things happen to us is because of our bad actions.

G-d then gives us different trials and tribulations to wake us up to repent. In this case if we do proper repentance then we go to the kohen who can take away this affliction. The way this works is that we change our ways and through that the kohen has the ability to take away the affliction.

The question we need to ask ourselves is wouldn't it be better for a person to not receive sickness or any other malady, live their lives properly and serve G-d the way He need to be worshiped? The answer is that there are reactions to our actions. If we pollute the spiritual world (not to mention the physical world) by our terrible deeds, we need to be shocked so-to-speak to change us for the better.

We certainly grow by these situations and they help us become the great people we strive to be. At the same time, we pray everyday that we should not have these trials nor do we want them; but we don't grow without them, so we are stuck in a catch-22!!

G-d is not standing over us waiting to exact punishment and zap us; He wants to truly do the right thing and give us our just reward. The problem comes when we veer off the beaten track and cause damage to ourselves and the world at large. For this, G-d has to take action and redirect us to the proper path.

Just like a doctor may give a patient bitter medicine, they will be healed by whatever malady they have by taking it.Although it is a bitter pill to swallow (no pun intended) nonetheless it saves our lives and allows us to continue to do our work here!

When we someone sick or suffering it is very hard for us to look at it and say that it is there sins that have caused this. Everyone goes through difficult times in their lives and G-d gives everyone exactly what they need to overcome whatever situation they go through. When the body is sick it corresponds to spiritual sickness as well.

We certainly don't want to see anyone sick and suffering. When we hear about these things and we thank G-d are healthy and functioning fine, we shouldn't take it for granted! We sometimes only realize what we have until we don't have it anymore.

Let us always be thankful for what G-d has given us and make the most of our opportunity while we are still here!

Shabbat Shalom