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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 7, 2016

Parshas Vaera: Look at the Goodness G-d does for us!

"Hashem said unto Moshe, 'Say to Aharon Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt; over their rivers, over their canals, over their reservoirs, and over all their gatherings of water, and they shall become blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in the wooden and stone vessels" (Exodus 7:19)

The plague of blood is the first of the plagues that will go on to decimate Egypt. When we read about the plagues and hear about the miracles that occurred in Egypt, we may wonder what was so great about them in the first place? G-d is the one in charge of nature and controls it, so can't He change things if He so desires for whatever reason? Certainly He can and did but what is the deeper message here?

When we hear about the miracles we are astounded as to their tenacity and utter destruction of this nation where the Jews were seemingly unaffected by it! At the same time it was to show G-d's power in the world and instill in the Jewish people the idea that not only does G-d run the world but He interferes in history. This is the concept of Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) which is a major tenet of Judaism.

It is so important that the mitzvah to believe in G-d is so strong that we are obligated to believe in Him through knowledge of His existence because He took us out of Egypt. This means that not only does G-d care for us and what happens to us but He control nature and can change it at His will! Another important lesson we learn from here is that when Moshe told Pharaoh that this or that plague was going to occur it did!

This is nothing short of miraculous because isn't it true that we may sometimes promise to do things but somehow we get sidetracked or bogged down with other things and don't end up doing it? Even with the greatest of intentions we may fail in this. The Torah here teaches an important lesson.

When Moshe told Pharaoh that G-d was going to do something it happened. Not only that it happened each time! How could it be after the first few plagues that Pharaoh could still deny G-d's existence. When Moshe said something would happen it did. How could Pharaoh deny this?

The answer is that this is why G-d hardened his heart and did not allow him to do teshuvah. He took away his freewill because after witnessing G-d's miracles he still rebelled against Him. G-d gave him an opportunity and Pharaoh basically spit in G-d's face. G-d then decided well if that is the case then He is going to make an example out of Pharaoh and his people by showing His might against him.

If this is true, then all the more so we have to be careful if G-d does something for us and we witness or hear about a miracle and it doesn't change us. The reason is because now we have a higher awareness of Him which now should change us to do teshuvah and become better people. If we don't do this and acknowledge what is happening then the repercussions can be that much worse.

If we say that with everything going in the world we see tremendous Divine Providence and miracles all around us, how can it not change us and if it doesn't change us, how much worse it will be for us! We have to wake up and see what is happening and realize all the chesed G-d does for us and continues to do for us!

Shabbat Shalom