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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, December 24, 2015

Parshas Vayechi: G-d Runs the World!

"His brothers themselves also went and flung themselves before him and said, 'We are ready to be your slaves.' But Yosef said to them, 'Fear not, for am I instead of G-d? Although you intended me harm, G-d intended it for good in order to accomplish it is as clear as this day that a vast people be kept alive" (Genesis 50:18-20). 

After everything that Yosef has been through, he realizes where everything comes from and that even if we don't understand why we go through certain things, G-d knows what he is doing! He reassures the brothers and tells them not to worry because G-d makes everything happen even though we are not privy to the why's about it!

We go through life making decisions while everything is being orchestrated above. We have free will and are not robots but our actions are guided from above and we just put things into motion. We certainly can make mistakes and there will be repercussions for our actions.

One of the essential tenets of Judaism is Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) whereby G-d runs the world and interferes in history. Since we have no Temple today, G-d's ways are truly hidden and it is very difficult if not impossible to try and fathom why He does what He does. We often also don't understand how things we do turn out the way it does but if G-d is truly good, then everything has a purpose which one day we will merit to truly understand.

The way we know that G-d interferes in history and has a role guiding it is because the mitzvah to believe in G-d is from the first of the 10 commandments. "I am the L-rd your G-d who took you out o of the land of Egypt" shows just that role. The commentators ask why we don't learn it out from the fact that G-d created the world. After all, that would seem to be a greater proof.

The reason is that no one was there to witness it. When the Jews came out of Egypt there were 600,000 men not including women and children who witnessed the miracles of the plagues. That means with women and children there were over 3,000,000 people altogether who could give testimony as to G-d's role in what happened. Pretty amazing!

Not only that but this has been passed down through all future generations based on the mitzvos we keep because of coming out of Egypt. All the laws of Passover come from the deliverance from Egypt, the whole evening service we pray, the last paragraph of the many things attached to one event in history!

Even though it seems that enslavement to the Egyptians was a bad thing (considering according to some opinions 80% of the Jewish did not come out of Egypt) nonetheless we received the Torah as a result! Nothing short of incredible. This is just a mere example of looking into things where we see G-d's role but in many ways it is unfathomable to us unless we are able to see the whole picture!

This is a lesson for our everyday life being able to see where we have been and what has led us to where we are now. We don't always have the answers to the important why question but there is that guiding hand always!

Shabbat Shalom