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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, October 15, 2015

Parshas Noach: Robbery is the final seal of man's destruction?

"The earth also was corrupt before G-d and the earth was filled with violence" (Genesis 6:11)

G-d decides to destroy the world and we see from this verse that the reason is because the earth is filled with violence. Many of the commentaries tell us that this was the final nail in the coffin for mankind so to speak but they also transgressed more severe things like immorality and idolatry so why is the final decree because of violence or robbery in this case? Robbery is not even one of the big three sins that a Jew has to give up there life for under any circumstances?

There is a major difference why there are secular laws and Torah laws. Secular laws keep society running (even though it seems that society is crazy even with them!) smoothly and functioning where as Torah laws are there to help us reach our true potential and become great people! What a major difference between the two.

G-d foresaw that because people stole from one another in such great proportions society would not be able to function. Although it is not one of the mitzvos we would have to give up our lives for, nonetheless when these laws break down or people take other people's property without any repercussions, then the morals and ability to live will not be possible.

G-d understood very well the nature of man and knew that this would happen but he created man anyway knowing their failures! There will be some that will make the right decisions and become truly righteous people and this is what G-d's intention was but the way the world was at this time, He had  no choice but to destroy man.

What happened after the flood? Did all mankind become righteous after that? Obviously not but G-d understood that He had to leave man alone by promising that He would never wipe them out again! This is not so simple because G-d knows the future, past and present so He foresaw this.

Even though at the end of Parshas Bereishis it seems that G-d has regret for creating man, this in and of itself is a tough philosophical question to grapple with because if G-d is omnipotent and omniscient then He seemingly cannot have regret now can He? This means that G-d saw the future and even though man would ultimately sin and do the wrong thing, He still hoped they would utilize the good and become the great people they can.

Rashi explains this with the following story: a non-Jew asks one of the rabbis about this verse and wonders if G-d knows the future how can it be that He is sad at having created man? The rabbi answers did you ever have a son born to you? The non-Jew answered yes. The rabbi retorted, "when he was born what did you do?" The non-Jew answered that he made a great party. The rabbi responded, "But don't you know that this child eventually will die?"

The non-Jew replied even though that is true, I am happy when he was born and will celebrate that and if G-d forbid he dies in my lifetime, I will be sad but the two thoughts are not diametrically opposed. This is what the verse means at the end of parshas bereishis.

Since G-d knows the thoughts and actions of man He can still be sad if they choose to make the wrong decisions but He gives them freewill to do so! In our verse G-d saw that if He would let things go as they were society would destroy itself. Better I G-d destroy them before they do it to themselves!

As for the future G-d will allow man to do what he wants but will intervene in history when He feels it is necessary. Even if we do things to ourselves, He will sit back so to speak and let things go even though He is orchestrating everything from behind the scenes.

In these troubling times we have to understand there is a divine plan, we are just not privy to what that is. As my rebbe said to me many times, if you are happy with the way G-d runs the world 95% of the time, the other 5% you won't understand in 20 lifetimes. You still need to learn and focus on doing what you need to do and let G-d does what He needs to do. A lesson that should not be forgotten!

Shabbat Shalom