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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, May 14, 2015

Parshas Bechukosai: The right thing to do is not always easy

"If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit". (Leviticus 26:3-4)

If we would do G-d's will the Torah tells us, everything will be good; we will have plenty of food, rain will come at its appropriate time and life in general will be excellent. If we don't do what G-d wants us to do, then we won't have plenty of food, there will be no rain...The question is isn't this like the zap treatment: if I don't do G-d's will then I will get zapped, life will be difficult and I will have all kinds of problems. Did I just lose my free will?

If we look back at the story of Abraham when G-d tells him to leave his land, the place where he was born... and I will make your name great, you will have wealth... This is one of the ten trials that Abraham goes through! If G-d is going to make his life so easy and he will be world famous and wealthy where is the test here?

The answer to both questions is the same. In the case of Abraham he still had to go to the unknown; he had no idea where G-d was sending him. For every step he took the commentaries tell us he got reward for listening to G-d and giving up everything he had essentially known! Even if G-d was to make him wealthy and famous, he had no idea where he was going!

In our parsha G-d does give us free will to either do the right or wrong thing. At the same time, even if we know that things will be good if we do the right thing, we still can choose to go against G-d's will; this in no way contradicts the promise the G-d gives to us.

Even if we know that our parents will reward us if we do good on our report cards, we may for whatever reason be lazy or have negative influences that stop us from reaching our goal! Knowing the right thing to do and doing it are two totally different things.

Our yetzer harah (evil inclination) never stops trying to get us to sin, even when we are sleeping! We have to be ever so vigilant not to let him get a strong hold of us. We understand the task at head but we have to make a monumental effort to reach it.

Living in this world can make us go in a thousand different directions but G-d tells us even if that is true, there is still an obligation to serve Him. We know what the ultimate good is but achieving it is another story altogether.

If we would wake up every day and the weather would be 75 degrees and sunny for the entire year, we wouldn't necessarily be adversely affected by it! Weather is also a test when it is cold or rainy or too challenges our emotions.

If everything would go smooth and easy then what fun would there be for us? That is what some people want, just to be able to relax, have no pressure and let life be lived. The problem is that we don't grow without challenges. If things were too easy then we would find other ways to get ourselves into trouble causing all kinds of challenges that we are not looking for!

If we would live in an ideal world, then things would look different; the problem is that we messed it up and we don't. The goal is to put knowledge into action and internalize the messages that can help us grow. How easy is it knowing the right thing to do and then going out and doing it?

Shabbat Shalom