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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, September 24, 2015

Parshas Haazinu: You think you know better than G-d?

"He is the rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice: a G-d of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (Deuteronomy 32:4-5)

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit"a in Ta'am V'Da'as writes that mankind is baffled by the hiddenness of G-d's ways and how He runs the world. There are righteous people that suffer and evil people that seem to have it easy and they lack nothing while the righteous constantly suffer and seemingly have many difficulties in this world. Not only that but they see G-d's chosen people who have constantly suffered and gone through pogroms and holocausts!!

Rav Sternbuch explains that this world is just a corridor to the next world. What we do in this world matters only in context of the next world. We will only understand and have clarity at that time but when we live on this world in a physical body it is impossible to comprehend G-d's ways! Sometimes we may get a glimpse of why some things may occur but in general it is impossible to fathom what transpires here!

If we understand what transpires in this world on a soul level, things become a bit clearer. This means that each soul has a unique purpose that only it can fulfill here. It has to go through certain trials and tribulations to perfect itself in this world and then return to the next world. The soul has great difficulty though shining here because it is stuck in a physical body!

For the body and soul to succeed it must be steeped in Torah and mitzvos to reach that perfection. Just like the body needs nutrients for it to survive, the soul must also otherwise it will die. Even if we understand this idea to a certain extent, it still doesn't fully explain what we see; some die young, some suffer from horrible diseases and others seemingly have no issues or minor ones at best as they muddle their ways through life.

Where is the fairness and justice you may ask? It's there we just don't have the eyes to be able to see what is directly in front of us! Can it really be that G-d's chosen people, who He loves like a first born child really suffer so much throughout the millennium? At face value a lot of what we see doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

At the same time, it is as if we are in the army; we do what we are told and have an obligation to serve. G-d has manufactured a book for us to live by and grants us life; because of things we see that we don't understand we should have the chutzpah to think we understand Him and his ways?

Everyone should read carefully the end of the book of Job to see G-d's response to him about the suffering that he endures. Just read the vivid description of the Leviathan to see how great G-d's creation is and how He controls nature. We need to learn to be more humble and understand there is something that controls the world and keeps things at an equilibrium.

How dare we think we can figure Him out and claim to know what's right and fair. We have no idea how things play out the way they do. This does not mean we are just blind sheep following We have to admit when things are beyond us and when to put ourselves on the line for Him!

As I have heard many times, if you are happy with the way G-d runs the world 95% of the time, then the 5% that we don't understand we won't come to understand them in 10 lifetimes. This is not a leap of faith but a reality. When we realize this we will be able to serve Him better and understand our place!!

Shabbat Shalom