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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, July 9, 2015

Ethics of our Fathers: Chapter 5: Mishna 5: How miracles effect us!

"Ten miracles were performed for our fathers in Egypt and ten at the Red Sea (the plagues did no harm to the Israelites). Ten Plagues did the Holy one, blessed be He, bring upon the Egyptians in Egypt and ten at the sea"

After mentioning the ten trials that Avraham went through, this Mishna tells us about the ten miracles that were performed for our fathers in Egypt, the ten at the Red Sea and the ten plagues that G-d brought upon the Egyptians. The ten plagues against the Egptians were exacted measure for measure against them (for the pain that they caused the Jewish people)  and the miracles of the sea revealed just how powerful G-d is and what He can do in this world. What is the purpose and deeper meaning of mentioning them here?

In general, these miracles that G-d performed for our nation undoubtedly show that He intervenes in history, so much so that the mitzvah to believe in G-d comes from the first of the ten commandments that G-d took us out of Egypt. The commentaries ask why should this be a proof that G-d exists; why don't we say that G-d exists because He created the world?

The answer is that no one was there when the world was created to give witness to the fact that G-d did it!! On the other hand, there were more than two million people who witnessed the miracles and came out of Egypt! We know this because this was passed down from generation to generation and we relive it during the Passover seder! We know the story to be true because our parents tell us this story every year.

How did they know about the story? Because their parents told it to them. How did their parents know the story? Because there parents told it to them... We therefore have an unbroken chain from previous generations that goes back to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

We also learn from here that the miracles of what happened in Egypt are that much greater because Moshe tells the Egyptians what is about to take place and it actually happens! Yes G-d changed nature and made miracles occur to get the Jews out. At the same time, Moshe said exactly what was going to happen and shortly thereafter it did!

We can take out from this that the Jewish people were deserving of miracles and merited to receive the Torah. The fact that G-d did the miracles is nothing short of amazing but the fact that Moshe said what was going to happen and it occurred gives us tremendous food for thought.

We live in a world where cynicism rules; the more cynical a person is the more he is to be praised. The Torah teaches that there is absolute truth and that we have the ability to be close to Him. How do we do this? Through the blueprint that He himself has given us, the very Torah itself!