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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, November 19, 2015

Parshas Vayeitze: Yaakov's struggle with Lavan and Realizing that we can only rely on G-d!

"Then Jacob became angered and he took up his grievance with Lavan; Jacob spoke up and said to Lavan, "What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? When you rummaged through all my things what did you find of all your household objects? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen and let them decide between the two of us" (Genesis 31:36-37).

Imagine after everything that Yaakov has done for Lavan that Lavan has the audacity to accuse him of stealing something from him. After all, everything that Lavan had was blessed because of what Yaakov had done for him. What is the deeper meaning here? 

Lavan was a swindler par excellence and knew how to manipulate people very well. Even though Yaakov tried his best to get Rachel, he was outfoxed by him. At the same time, Lavan seemed to know no bounds on what he was willing to do to get what he wanted. This is why when Yaakov confronts Esav he tells him that he lived with Lavan and guarded the 613 commandments. Do we think that Esav really cared that he still stayed righteous living with the evil Lavan?

Even though Yaakov was tricked, nonetheless he was able to retain his righteousness. This is incredible considering all the things that happens to him! Nonetheless since Yaakov tricked Esav to get the blessings (which he undoubtedly deserved) he is deceived by Lavan measure for measure. Even so, he passed this trial but could not contain his anger when confronted by Lavan.

As we know the patriarchs are human but they knew that they were building the Jewish people and giving them the basics for them to survive throughout the generations. Yaakov had to go to Lavan to understand how to deal with crafty people and still stay true to his creator and go in the path that he needed in order to reach that unlimited potential! It certainly wasn't easy and he suffered along the way but he learned a valuable lesson that he was able to give over to his kids and pass that down to future generations!

Lavan himself is the paradigm of a person and a mentality of wanting to do bad things to the Jewish people. This has not changed throughout the generations just taken different forms. The Jewish people remain strong and united only through their commitment to Torah and mitzvos. A nation not connected to their heritage and their past certainly will have no future. Regardless of what the zionists have tried to achieve over the years, they like other Jewish (non-religious) groups are dying out because they are giving their constituents something that cannot be passed down to the future generations!

The reason is because it is like having a body without a soul. When you don't get that spiritual nourishment the body atrophies and dies. Even if the person is alive, they are just lacking burial since once they continue to go after physical things without anything spiritual that is akin to death itself.

We are living in difficult times where we see the tragedies occur because we in fact exist! We can't help that but we must realize that everything comes from G-d and we need to wake ourselves up that our great army will protect us or other nations will help us because this is the type of war we cannot win. G-d is telling us to only rely on Him because there is nothing else to do. We must internalize this message and live it!

Shabbat Shalom