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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, January 21, 2016

Parshas Bashalach: We are Subservient to G-d

"And the L-rd said to Moshe, 'Why do you cry to me? speak to the children of Israel that they go forward" (Exodus 14:15)

After everything the Jewish people go through in Egypt, they escape, go through the desert and now are faced by the obstacle of the sea in front of them and Egyptians close behind! G-d here asks Moshe why he is crying out! Just speak to the children of Israel and tell them to move forward. How can they move forward if the sea is right in front of them and the Egyptians right on their heels?

This is yet another test for the Jewish people to work on their belief in G-d. They witness the plagues, the killing of the first born...and they even kill the Egyptian god the lamb and slaughter it in front of their very eyes! What more does G-d want from them?

The answer is that G-d goes out of His way to work on the emunah of his people in Him. After all, they are going to live in the desert for a while and live on a very high spiritual level having G-d sustain them miraculously while being there. This is part of the bigger plan of getting them on that level to accept the Torah and then go into the promised land. The problem was that the Jewish people did not think they were on the level for such a thing!

That is why they complain in the desert "missing" the watermelon and fish of Egypt. Did they really miss those things and have this strong desire to return to the place where they suffered so much? After seeing all the miracles and going through the sea and receiving the Torah, they felt that they were not on a level to live that way. Obviously G-d thought otherwise and was expecting  great things from them which would make the transition to the land that much easier.

In essence that is what G-d wants from us. He puts us in situations that help us to reach our true potential. They may be difficult trials and tribulations but they are the best way for us to do things that we didn't think we were capable of! Isn't better we don't have these things? Yes, but at the same time without them we don't grow!

At this time when the Jewish people come to the sea and they see the Egyptians right behind them, they cry out to G-d to save them. They had no other choice. They were not going to fight the world power at the time and had no one else to turn to. This is a very valuable lesson we have to learn for ourselves.

No matter what we do or what is thrown at our way, we have to be thankful for whatever G-d puts us through because at the end of the day the purpose is to strengthen us in our belief in Him! The other thing to realize is that in all our endeavors there is no one else but Him! If we would realize this very simple idea, our lives would be different because we need this realization that everything comes from Him, for good and for bad.

We may not always understand why things happen the way it does but when we turn our lives over to Him for all our needs, we will live and look different!

Shabbat Shalom