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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 26, 2015

Parshas Vayishlach: Don't budge one inch!!

"And Yaakov sent messengers before him to Esav his brother to the land of Se'ir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them saying, This you shall speak to my lord Esav: Your servant Yaakov says I have sojourned with Lavan, and stayed there until now: and I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants and women servants and I have sent to tell my lord that I may find favor in your sight" (Genesis 32:4-6). 

Yaakov tells Esav about the wealth that he has accumulated to find favor in his eyes. We know that the fight for the birthright between the two brothers was about this world and the next world. Yaakov wanted to show although he was given blessing in this world Esav shouldn't worry that he had forsaken spirituality. In reality we are allowed to use this world for our benefit but we have to realize that the main thing we have to focus on is spirituality!

For the sake of livelihood or other things in the secular world we may have to do things we don't like or may even have to compromise. Spirituality is not like that! This is what Yaakov means when he tells Esav that he lived with Lavan. Rashi there says that he lived with Lavan but he kept all the commandments. Do we really think Esav cared that Yaakov remained religious despite living with the evil Lavan?

Yaakov made Esav understand that even though he lived by Lavan, his closeness to G-d and his level of religiosity did not change. Although Esav was far from this ideal, he grew up in the house of Yitzchak so he understood what spirituality was. Yaakov makes clear that Esav too will not have a bad influence on him just as Lavan did not!

This is important for us today on many levels. We may be out in the workforce and come in contact with many types of Lavan that want to weaken our spiritual resolve. We have to know that regardless of where we are and what we are doing we still have to do what G-d wants us to do at all times. This is not easy when we are given different trials and tribulations.

At the same time, our spiritual resolve has to remain strong and unyielding. Once there is a chink in our spiritual armor, the evil inclination clenches its claws on us to make us weaker. We have to constantly strengthen ourselves in that area so that it cannot have its negative affect on us!

As we get closer to Chanukah we realize that this is exactly what the Greeks wanted to do to us. They didn't care if we wanted to be religious but they desired that we should partake in their gymnasium's and learn in their schools and be like them. We have seen the "Greeks" of today that advocate the same thing which has given the Jewish people a 60% intermarriage rate and rampant assimilation. May we take Yaakov's strength in being unyielding and strong in our religious pursuits and bring out the light of Torah!

Shabbat Shalom!