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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 17, 2015

Parshas Vayigash: The path to Jewish Continuity

"And he sent Yehuda before him to Yosef to show the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen" (Genesis 46:28)

Why is Yehuda sent to Goshen? The commentaries explain that the reason is so that he would be able to set up an educational infrastructure which would be ready when the rest of the people would come down there. This is important because before a Jew moves into a community they have to see what the presence is of the Jews that live there.

 Are there synagogues, mikvas, schools for their children? When this is not done, then it takes quite a bit of time to set up. We see this by what happened to the Jews that came to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. There was no infrastructure set up and it took many years for all that to be established. The results were catastrophic as it led many to shed their Judaism while at the same time giving their children a second rate Jewish education (if you can even call it that) which resulted in rampant assimilation and intermarriage.

Although they were fleeing from religious persecution when they were in Europe and people were running away from Judaism even there, nonetheless when they got to the US which had nothing set up for the the thousands coming, the end result was an utter disaster!

This is the reason that Yaakov sent Yehudah to Goshen and a lesson for all future generations. There is nothing more important than belonging to a Jewish community that is flourishing with a proper system that will result in successfully passing down that great heritage to the future generations! This is the reason as well that a convert to Judaism has to live in a viable Jewish community that has synagogues and schools for their children. The reason is that a Jew cannot live on their own island without any other Jews around them.

Many in the process of conversion, once they find out that they will have to move to a Jewish community feel that it is not fair. After everything they have given up, now they have to move as well? Certainly not an easy situation but how else will a person know how to keep Torah and mitzvos if they are not part of a place that has a thriving Jewish community?

The Rambam in the laws of Repentance goes even further and says that a Jew who separates himself from the community will have it very difficult if they want to do teshuvah (repent). That means even if they live in a Jewish community but has nothing to do with it, that is also bad. This again shows the importance of being part of the Jewish people by living where they are We can't do things on our own and need a community so that we can be the best Jews!

The single biggest threat to assimilation today is lack of education. This is why this is so crucial  While the Jewish people have been subjected to anti-semitism, pogroms...they are wiping themselves spiritually off the map because of rampant assimilation and intermarriage.

May we all merit to learn Torah, be Torah educated which is the essence of Jewish continuity.

Shabbat Shalom