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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, August 6, 2015

Parshas Ekev: The Holiness of Eretz Yisrael

"And then the L--rd's anger be inflamed against you, and he shut up the heaven that there be no rain and that the land yield not its fruit and you perish quickly from off the good land which the L-rd gives you" (Deteronomy 11:17)

We say this twice a day as part of the Shema basically reaffirming that if we, the Jewish people, don't keep our end of the bargain of being the keepers of the Torah then G-d will be angry with us, not give us rain and take us away from the land of Israel. After two thousands years of exile and not having the land of Israel in Jewish hands and finally getting it back, do we really think before the Messiah comes that we will not be in the land?

It would seem that after all the struggle, tears and blood that G-d would forsake us and send us out of the land. There is a midrash in Tehillim (Psalms) that explains when the messiah comes, he will gather the Jews in the desert and bring them back to the land because the Jews will be thrown out of the land. Although we don't know what the future holds, we do know that having the land is conditional on fulfilling G-d's will and if we don't then there will be tremendous repercussions!

Because the land is so holy, we are not allowed to contaminate it, spiritually and physically. Therefore anyone living in the land has to be very careful how they act because they are living in the palace of the king. Although transgressions are bad where ever you do them, it is more severe if they are done in the land of Israel.

When Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit'a wanted a blessing for coming to the land of Israel from Rav Mordechai Pogramansky (the great Telzer genius), the rav told him that he had to be aware of the holiness of the land and how careful he must be when living there. He said over and over that he was not on the level and was terribly afraid he would not be able to be on the level of such holiness.

Rav Sternbuch was not deterred and continued to ask for a blessing to go there and after Rav Pogramansky saw that he was aware of the possible repercussions for his actions, he gave him a blessing to go. We learn from here not only the importance of doing what G-d wants us to do especially in His backyard but also we can't stand around and must voice our protests to actions that can cause G-d's ire!

Although we may think that if we protest and no one will listen, what is it worth? It is worth millions because in the end if we don't make the protest then we could cause a great desecration of G-d's name if no one says anything. We need the permissibility from our rabbis to be able to do such a thing and we should never act on our own! At the same time, what a person is protesting is the abomination that goes on and shows G-d how much it hurts them by seeing this go on!

 Protesting means that we speak about the seriousness of the matter and we certainly do not get violent or throw rocks...The purpose is to show G-d the seriousness of the actions being taken place and that we wholeheartedly disagree with what is happening. After all, we don't want to get upstairs after 120 years and find out that we could have stood up for G-d and didn't do so.

Shabbat Shalom