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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 17, 2015

Parshas Vayelech: Let go of your Ego!!

"Moshe summoned Yehoshua and said to him before the eyes of all Israel 'Be strong and courageous for you shall come with this people to the land that Hashem swore to heir forefathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it". (Deuteronomy 31:7)

Moshe in front of the entire nations tells Yehoshua that he will take the people into the land that G-d swore to our forefathers. This is truly amazing as at the very end of Moshe's life, he strengthens Yehoshua in the eyes of the people to lead them into the promised land. Why is this so remarkable though? After all, Moshe is told he won't be going in the land so why should he not praise his successor in the eyes of the people?

There are different interpretations as to why Moshe is not allowed into the land and what exactly the desecration of G-d's name was. Even if Moshe hit the rock, why should that be any less miraculous that water comes out from it instead of speaking to it? Not only that, but for that seemingly small infringement Moshe is not allowed into the land.

The Torah tells us that Moshe was the most humble of all men. That being said, when G-d tells Him he is not allowed in the land Moshe prays and prays and prays to have this decree overcome but G-d tells him enough prayer, you are not going in, period! Moshe definitely did not have it easy with the Jewish people.

He came under fire from them many times, making his life miserable. At the same time, he understood his position and he understood what it meant to be a leader. He could have told this to Yehoshua privately and not made such a big deal about it This could have looked like having sour grapes though in the sense that he was still upset about not being allowed into the land so why should he make such a big deal to give Yehoshua that big boost of confidence in front of the people?

The answer is that great spiritual and moral leaders look beyond themselves and their own egos for what is best for the people. In this case, although he is not allowed to enter the land, he backs G-d's decision one hundred percent by demonstrating his confidence in Yehoshua in front of the nation.

Although the people would be missing Moshe's leadership he thoroughly backs Yehoshua which will put the people at ease in his absence. This is truly remarkable because most people would not be able to do this. Keep in mind as well that G-d tells Moshe that he will die after the Jewish people go to war against Midyan. What does Moshe do?

He directs the people to war immediatley knowing that once they are successful he will no longer be in this world. Many of us would put off such a thing for a few more moments to live here but Moshe goes full force knowing that it will quicken his days here.

Shouldn't we all live up to these ideals? Definitely easier said than done but if we truly want to be the people we can become then the first thing we need to do is become more selfless and let our egos go out the window. That doesn't mean that we have to be walked upon and abused; we should have self-esteem but the more we learn to forget about ourselves, the more godlike we will become.

We get ourselves into trouble many times by refusing to let go of that. This is something very hard to do because we have pride and we don't want others to step on it or try and destroy. No one ever said the Torah was easy to live by but our goal in this world is to do just that.

Shabbat Shalom