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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.
Friday, April 3, 2015

Passover: Belief in G-d is a Mitzvah

Passover is finally upon us! All the cleaning is done, we have turned over our kitchens for only Passover and we get ready for the all important seder!! The seder should be said in an uplifting way that should make a strong impression on us and last throughout the year.

The purpose of the seder is to retell the story of the exodus from Egypt and instill in us the idea that G-d interferes and plays a role in history. As the first of the Ten Commandments tells us we know  G-d exists because He took us out of Egypt! The mitzvah to believe in G-d comes from this command but the belief in G-d is through knowledge, not just a flippant "I believe" based on nothing.

The Rambam tells us that we don't just have to see ourselves as if we came out of Egypt but we have to demonstrate this. How do we do this? By reciting the Haggadah, drinking the four cups of wine, eating matzah... Even that is not enough if we give the words lip service without delving into what they mean!

it is such an unbelievable opportunity that we should not waste! The more we delve into the miracles of the plagues and drowning of the Egyptians at the Sea of Reeds, the more we see G-d's hand in history! As the Haggadah tells us, even if we were all wise, we still have to tell over the story.

The reason is that when we give over these ideas and really think about what we are doing, we strengthen ourselves in belief in Him which will strengthen us during the entire year. Even though there is an obligation to remember the exodus of Egypt twice a day, we have such an opportunity on these nights to absorb this important message.

Even if a person was alone they would tell the story to themselves, delving into the intricacies of the exodus and the miracles that G-d has done for us. This is how important these nights are for us!

Another idea to keep in mind as the Haggadah tells us is that had G-d not taken us out, we would still be there. This is incredulous because the ruling power in every nation has power for a certain amount of time but then it eventually ends either through military takeover or through elections.. If that is true, could it possibly be true that the Jewish people would never have escaped?

The commentaries tell us that according to nature it could not have happened. When G-d tells Moshe to go to Egypt and take the Jewish people out, he refuses. One of the reasons he does not want to go is because when he looks up to heaven, he sees an angel of G-d and an angel of Egypt (each nation has their own guardian angel) intertwined like a double helix and understood that the Jewish people would never be allowed to leave.

G-d tells him that in essence that may be true but since G-d can do anything, He will take the Jewish people out from Egypt through miracles that are above nature. As we go through the plagues, we realize just how true that is!

At the same time, the Haggadah tells us that only G-d did this, not through an angel, intermediary..i.e. to show G-d's power and demonstrate that the world power at that time was utterly destroyed throught the miraculous plagues that G-d brought about against the mighty Egyptians.;

If we look at history, the Jewish people have survived against the natural world. As they have been dispersed without their own land for thousands of years, it is nothing short of unbelievable how they have survived! We have been exiled, gassed, had pogroms against us..and still the Jewish people continue to survive.

They survived through belief in G-d and His Torah and continue to thrive. May we take these timely messages and let them infuse in us belief in Him that will lead to the Messiah coming speedily in our days!!

May each and every one of us have a enjoyable and meaningful Passover.